Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn will visit Laos for two days to resolve ongoing border issues and strengthen relations.
The visit follows the withdrawal of Lao troops from the disputed Mom Bei area near the border in Preah Vihear province last week.
Lao troops had encroached upon the area for about two weeks before both sides agreed to withdraw forces and solve the dispute without escalating tensions.
According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry statement yesterday, Mr Sokhonn and his delegation will arrive in Vientiane today.
“This visit aims at strengthening and expanding the scope and depth of bilateral cooperation, including the border issue and shared interest in international cooperation,” it said, noting that Mr Sokhonn is expected to meet with Lao Foreign Affairs Minister Saleumxay Kommasith.
Both nations began work to demarcate the 540-kilometre border in 2000. So far, the government has demarcated 84 percent of the border with Laos.
In March, Mr Sokhonn said the border issue with Laos stems from a map produced in the early 1900s by French surveyors.
He said the remaining 16 percent could have been done had the Lao government not requested for the map to be referenced in December.
“We cannot accept the Lao request because they want to use a map produced in 1902, a year when France had not yet transferred Stung Treng province to Cambodian territory,” he said. “This work has been a headache.”
In 2017, Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Lao counterpart Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith requested that France provide more detailed maps to aid border demarcation.
In regards to the request, Foreign Affair Ministry spokesman Ket Sophann yesterday said “both sides are continuing to discuss the matter together”, noting that Mr Sisoulith will visit Phnom Penh later this month.
During the withdrawal of troops last week, both sides reported it was done peacefully.
Major General Mao Phalla, spokesman for the Royal Cambodian Army, yesterday said although the army has withdrawn, it has orders to stand-by.
“The border situation has been normal and soldiers are waiting for further orders from the leaders on what to do next,” Maj Gen Phalla said, noting that Mr Sokhonn’s visit to Laos will shape next steps to be taken.