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Cambodia, Laos agree to settle border dispute

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen sent BM-21 trucks to Stung Treng Province during a border tension with Lao in 2017. RCAF

Cambodia and Laos have agreed to withdraw troops from the border region in the northern Preah Vihear province after Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke by phone with Lao Prime Minister today.

Lao troops have been encroaching on Cambodian territory in Preah Vihear province’s Chhep district since the past two weeks.

Prime Minister Hun Sen told Fresh News today that he has had a discussion with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith via phone and that both agreed to withdraw soldiers of both countries from the disputed area.

“We agreed to withdraw troops of countries from Mom Bei area,” Mr Hun Sen said.

He said both countries have agreed to continue negotiations over the conflict area, calling on the Cambodian people not to worry about the issue.

Cambodian Army spokesman Major General Mao Phalla told Khmer Times today that both senior military officials have been meeting together in order to solve the ongoing border conflict between both nations in Preah Vihear province’s Chheb district bordered by Champasak province of Lao.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith at a press conference at the Peace Palace in 2017. KT/Ven Rathavong

Maj Gen Phalla said since the middle of this month, a group of Laotian troops entered and occupied Cambodian land near the Tonle Rapov River along the border known as Mom Bei, or three angles area.

“Our senior military officials are negotiating with Laos over this issue,” he said. “Lao soldiers had entered this area since August 14 to destroy our farmer’s crop, claiming the territory as its own.”

Maj Gen Phalla said, that there was no confrontation and none of Cambodian citizens were evacuated as the situation is stable.

According to reports from Preah Vihear provincial deputy governor Chea Kimseng on Friday, in the event of armed clashes between both soldiers, the provincial authority are prepared to evacuate 787 civilian families and 534 military families from four villages in the two communes located in Choam Ksan district.

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