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Cambodian soldiers eat breakfast with Thai troops (black uniforms) at a pagoda near Preah Vihear temple near Thai border in Preah Vihear province, some 543 kilometers north of Phnom Penh on July 18, 2008. Cambodian Premier Hun Sen urged Thailand July 17 to withdraw its troops, warning a “worsening” border row was damaging relations between the two neighbours.  AFP PHOTO/ TANG CHHIN SOTHY (Photo credit should read TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP/Getty Images)

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It seems that both sides do not want to be the first to withdraw. They are now watching each other.
“Both countries need to pass their domestic legitimacy processes,” ministry spokesman Tharit Charunvat told AFP.

“When the government says withdraw, we will immediately do so,” said Anupong Paochinda who is a Thai army chief as he told Reuters he was waiting an order from his government to pull out.

“For our side, there is no problem at all,” Cambodian PM Hun Sen told AP in the capital, Phnom Penh, adding, “the issue is up to Thailand to decide when to act. For us, anytime.”

Thai soldiers sit near a pagoda near the Preah Vihear temple ...

Thai soldiers sit near a pagoda near the Preah Vihear temple near Thai border in Preah Vihear province on July 17. Cambodia and Thailand have both signalled their willingness to stand down troops amassed along their disputed border, but neither showed any immediate signs of making the first move.

(AFP/File/Tang Chhin Sothy)
Cambodian soldiers sit at the Preah Vihear temple in the Cambodian ...

Cambodian soldiers sit at the Preah Vihear temple in the Cambodian Preah Vihear province on July 17. Cambodia and Thailand have both signalled their willingness to stand down troops amassed along their disputed border, but neither showed any immediate signs of making the first move.

(AFP/File/Tang Chhin Sothy)

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Thailand and Cambodia agree to adjust military deployment at Preah Vihear area

Thailand and Cambodia agreed on Monday to adjust military deployement in the area around the Preah Vihear temple, Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Hor Nam Hong said.

He did not elaborate how to adjust the military presence in the area.

The minister was speaking after holding talks with the Thai side for almost 12 hours in a hotel in Siem Reap province on Monday.

Source: The Nation

Thailand's Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag (L) and his Cambodian ...

Thailand’s Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag (L) and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong speaks during a news conference after their bilateral in Siem Reap July 28, 2008. The Thai and Cambodian foreign ministers held talks on Monday to try to defuse a row over a 900-year-old temple that has raised fears of a military clash between the southeast Asian neighbours.

REUTERS/Adrees Latif (CAMBODIA)

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Talks Founder

[dpa]

Siem Reap – Discussions over the ancient Preah Vihear temple stalled on Monday afternoon, Cambodian delegates said, adding that the prognosis for a bilateral solution was not good.

A senior Cambodian official who spoke on condition of anonymity claimed part of the problem for his side was the inexperience of the newly appointed Thai Foreign Minister Tej Bunnang.

“Cambodia is not happy. Neither side is happy,” the Cambodian diplomat said. “On the Thai side, the new foreign minister has not enough capacity to talk with the veteran Cambodian Foreign Minister.”

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong has held the post for decades. A seasoned diplomat, he is not known for giving ground.

The two sides of six delegates moved into a third phase of talks late Monday, hours after they had been scheduled to end.

Shortly after the Preah Vihear temple was made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO this month, Thailand moved troops into what it calls a disputed area that Cambodia maintains is its territory.

The 11th-century temple is sacred to Thais and Cambodians but only easily accessible from Thailand. Cambodia closed the border in June, saying it feared trouble after Thai protests.

Both sides have said they would not back down on the issue, which has voter nationalism running high.

Cambodia held national elections Sunday, returning the current government with an increased majority, but the Thai government of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej remains under pressure.

Meanwhile troops in Preah Vihear, around 300 kilometres from the capital, were increasingly restless and a troop buildup continued.

“I am former Khmer Rouge. I am not used to sitting around. I am used to attacking my enemy,” said Khun Sarath, 57. “I am ready to fight the Thai invader as soon as the government gives the word.”

The Cambodians have said the word will not come and the next step will be mediation at the United Nations if bilateral talks fail. A total alcohol ban is in force around the temple to curb the enthusiasm of fighters like Sarath.

In 2003 an angry mob torched the Thai embassy and some businesses over a false rumour that a Thai actress had claimed another temple, Angkor Wat, was Thai, and Cambodian officials have said they are determined that such a diplomatic disaster will not be repeated.


Earlier report:

No progress was reported on Monday from bilateral talks on the flashpoint Preah Vihear temple despite the presence of new Thai Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag, reports from Siem Reap say.

Foreign ministers from the two Southeast Asian nations expressed optimism that their talks would produce a breakthrough in the dispute.

But midway through the talks Monday in Siem Reap, the mood was tense and progress remained elusive, officials said.

“We have discussed many points but we have not reached a solution yet,” Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told reporters.

Source: The Bangkok Post

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