>Cambodia says dates set for Thai border talks


Cambodia’s Gen. Chea Morn (L) and Thailand’s Gen Wiboonsak Neparn (R) met on 16th October to investigate the border clashes a day earlier.

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to restart talks aimed at resolving a long-running border dispute that last month claimed four lives, the Cambodian foreign ministry said Sunday.

Foreign ministers and border negotiators from the two countries will meet November 10-12 in Cambodia’s tourist hub Siem Reap to try to end a months-long military stand off, said Cambodian foreign ministry spokesman Kuy Kuong.

The neighbours will also start hammering out a long-term solution to competing territorial claims along their joint border.

“We will talk about the technical issues and border demarcation,” Kuy Kuong said, adding that Cambodia was “more optimistic than ever that the upcoming talks will have a better result.”

An official from the Thai foreign ministry, however, told AFP that the dates and venue of the talks were still under discussion.

Shortly after a round of talks failed last month, troops from the two countries clashed in a border firefight on October 15 on disputed land near Cambodia’s ancient Preah Vihear temple, killing one Thai and three Cambodians.

Thailand’s parliament last week gave the Thai government the green light to launch talks with Cambodia aimed at settling the issue.

Two rounds of emergency talks after the October clashes made little progress, with both sides only agreeing not to fire on each other again.

The Cambodian-Thai border has never been fully demarcated, in part because it is littered with landmines left over from decades of war in Cambodia.

The most recent tensions began in July when the 11th century Preah Vihear was awarded United Nations World Heritage status, rekindling a long-running disagreement over ownership of the surrounding land.

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