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NAKHON RATCHASIMA, June 26 (TNA) – Thailand and Cambodia will hold a regional border affairs meeting in Thailand’s northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima in July to discuss border problems, a senior Thai military official on Friday.
Lt-Gen. Viboonsak Neepan, Thailand’s Second Army Region commander, overseeing the northeastern region which borders Cambodia, said he had fruitful talks with Lt-Gen. Chea Mon, Commander of Cambodia’s 4th Military Region on Thursday.
Gen. Viboonsak said the parties agreed to hold their periodic Regional Border Meeting (RBC) in Nakhon Ratchasima to discuss unresolved border problems and troop deployments along the Thai-Cambodian border near the historic Preah Vihear temple, as it is feared that troop reinforcements of both countries may cause misunderstanding which may lead to clashes.
The Thai commander also insisted that despite the latest tensions at the border, both Thai and Cambodia’s operational level officials can still meet regularly in order to understand each other to avoid confrontation.
Gen. Viboonsak added that he regularly reports any border difficulties to army chief Gen. Anupong Paochinda.
Tensions between Thailand and Cambodia arose again and troop reinforcements from both countries took place near Preah Vihear after Thailand expressed its opposition to Cambodia’s unilateral listing of the temple as a World Heritage Site to the World Heritage body and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
UNESCO agreed to register Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site under the aegis of Cambodia in July last year.
Thailand had proposed that the temple be registered jointly as a World Heritage Site by both countries, not unilaterally by Cambodia.
In 1962 the International Court of Justice ruled that Preah Vihear belongs to Cambodia, but the most accessible entrance begins at the foot of a mountain in Thailand, and both sides claim overlapping portions of the surrounding territory.
Armed clashes between the two countries’ military forces have occurred periodically since then, near the temple, especially in a 4.6-square-kilometre disputed area. (TNA)