Laos urged to set soldier free
Cambodia is waiting for a response from Laos in their dispute over the Strategic Belt Road along the border and has called for the release of a Cambodian armed force member who was detained in Laos.
Stung Treng provincial hall spokesman Men Kong said after a meeting between both sides on Monday that Cambodia had asked Laos to remove their soldiers from Cambodian territory and allow construction of the road.
He added that Lao officials asked for the temporary suspension of road building to get instructions from their government.
Mr. Kong said Cambodia still maintained that the construction is in Cambodian territory.
“Our military engineers have not moved forward to clear the forest for continued construction,” he said.
“They just move back to build the road in the forest which has already been cleared.”
He said Lao soldiers had moved back to their own territory but had crossed the border briefly to check on construction.
Mr. Kong said the soldier was arrested before the dispute when he went to check the location for clearing of forest to construct the road and then crossed into Lao territory.
Mr. Kong did not reveal the soldier’s identity, adding that his Lao counterpart had agreed to take the request for the release to the provincial authority.
On Monday, six members of a Lao minority tribe and one member of a Cambodian minority tribe were detained by border police in Stung Treng province.
The incident happened after the Cambodian led the six from Laos across the border via Rattanakiri province without documents and walked to Stung Treng province.
The tribe members told provincial police they crossed to visit relatives.
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