>Cambodian, Thai foreign ministers hold border talks

>A graphic on the Preah Vihear temple.

SIEM REAP, Cambodia (AFP) — The foreign ministers of Cambodia and Thailand held talks Wednesday aimed at resolving a long-running and deadly border dispute.

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and his Thai counterpart Sompong Amornviwat met after negotiators struggled this week to agree how to defuse a four-month military stand-off and resolve competing territorial claims.

Negotiating teams from both countries began talks Monday at a hotel in Cambodia’s tourist hub Siem Reap, drawing up plans for discussions between the two foreign ministers.

This week the countries agreed to jointly demarcate land and remove landmines as soon as possible from their disputed border around the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple.

But the leader of Cambodia’s delegation said Tuesday that both sides “need more time and high-level decisions” to make real progress.

Shortly after earlier talks between the foreign ministers failed last month, troops from the two countries clashed on October 15 on disputed land near the ancient Khmer temple, killing one Thai and three Cambodians.

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 Khmer temple was awarded United Nations World Heritage status, rekindling a long-running disagreement over ownership of the surrounding land.

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