Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday urged Lao President Bounnhang Vorachith to help speed up the drafting of a treaty to officially recognise 86 percent of the Cambodia-Laos border which have been identified so far.
He made the request during the closed door meeting with the Lao President who had paid a two-day state visit in Cambodia from Sunday.
“I would like to request both the Cambodian and Lao committees [tasked with identifying the border] to speed up the drafting of a treaty to officially recognise the 86 percent of the border area that has been demarcated so far,” Mr Hun Sen said.
In September last year, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and Mr Hun Sen discussed ongoing border disputes which have recently led to the mobilisation of troops to disputed areas. Both nations signed an agreement to have the Joint Boundary Commission draft ready as soon as possible, a treaty to ratify the 86 percent of the border that has been demarcated to date.
The commission has been tasked with ensuring that markers for the already demarcated border section are up to standard and to produce a map clearly outlining boundary lines accepted by both nations to be included in the treaty.
Mr Hun Sen said that Cambodia seeks a peaceful solution to the disputed remaining 14 percent of the border.
“For the remaining portions, I would like to request Laos to keep calm and continue negotiations peacefully,” he added.
“I would like to ask our Lao counterpart to strengthen cooperation on security issues and enhance relationships between our armies and local authorities along the border to maintain peace and counter all kind of crimes, including human and drug trafficking, natural resource crime and terrorism,” Mr Hun Sen said. “Both countries should educate their respective peoples to respect the laws and regulations along the border and enhance cooperation and development.”
In response, Mr Vorachith agreed to Mr Hun Sen’s request and said Laos will follow the agreement that both countries had signed.
“Laos supports the request from Cambodia to make peace along the border and will follow the agreement that has been signed by both countries’ prime ministers last year,” he added.
Var Kimhong, Cambodian Border Affairs Committee chairman, said yesterday that he supports Mr Hun Sen’s request to speed up efforts to draft a treaty on the demarcated parts of the border which has not been done since both prime ministers signed the agreement last year.
“Frankly, we [the joint commission] have not met each other since both prime ministers signed the agreement,” he said.