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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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Thai Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag, center left, arrives at a ...

Thai Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag, center left, arrives at a meeting room for Thai-Cambodian negotiations in Siem Reap province, 230 kilometers (142 miles) northwest of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, July 28, 2008. The foreign ministers of Cambodia and Thailand resumed negotiations Monday aimed at settling an armed standoff over disputed border territory near a historic Hindu temple.

(AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Thai Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag,  left, arrives at a meeting ...

Thai Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag, left, arrives at a meeting room for Thai-Cambodian negotiations in Siem Reap province, 230 kilometers (142 miles) northwest of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, July 28, 2008. The foreign ministers of Cambodia and Thailand resumed negotiations Monday aimed at settling an armed standoff over disputed border territory near a historic Hindu temple.

(AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
Thailand's Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag (R) is seen between ...

Thailand’s Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag (R) is seen between his meetings with Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Hor Namhong at a hotel in Siem Reap July 28, 2008. Thailand’s new foreign minister held talks with his Cambodian counterpart on Monday 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)
Cambodia's Foreign Minister Hor Namhong tries to get past ...

Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Hor Namhong tries to get past journalists between meetings with Thailand’s Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag at a hotel in Siem Reap July 28, 2008. Thailand’s new foreign minister held talks with his Cambodian counterpart on Monday 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)

Journalists wait for Cambodia's Foreign Minister Hor Namhong ...

Journalists wait for Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and his Thai counterpart Tej Bunnag to hold a bilateral meeting at a hotel in Siem Reap July 28, 2008. Thailand’s new foreign minister held talks with his Cambodian counterpart on Monday 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)

Thailand's Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag, left, and his Cambodian ...

Thailand’s Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag, left, and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong talk while having lunch during a break of their meeting at a hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia Monday, July 28, 2008. Cambodia and Thailand struggled Monday to settle a standoff over disputed border territory near an ancient Hindu temple that prompted both countries to deploy thousands of troops to the area.

(AP Photo)

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The attention of Preah Vihear issue drops

Cambodia opposition leader Sam Rainsy shows his ink-stained ...Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen shows his ink-stained finger ...
Left: Cambodia opposition leader Sam Rainsy shows his ink-stained finger after casting his ballot at polling station during the general election at Chan Moly pagoda in Bateay district, Kampong Cham province, about 50km from Phnom Penh July 27, 2008. (Nicolas Axelrod/Reuters)
Right: Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen shows his ink-stained finger to the media after casting his ballot during the general election at a polling station in Takmoa town in Kandal province, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, July 27, 2008. (Chor Sokunthea/Reuters)

The CPP of PM Hun Sen could win as many as 80 91 seats while SRP of Sam Rainsy will get around 40 26 seats. The HRP, NRP and Funcinpec will share the seats left. Preah Vihear will dominate the news again from tomorrow since the election is over and the 2nd meeting is also scheduled to take place in Siem Reap tomorrow.

Hor Namhong with Tej Bunnag during a meeting in Cambodia in 2004

Source: MFAIC

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