Cambodian, Thai military commanders promise ceasefire

16:10, April 28, 2011      

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Cambodian and Thai military commanders concluded a 40-minute meeting here on Thursday morning and promised a ceasefire after seven straight days of armed clashes between the two countries' troops over the border disputed areas since Friday last week.

The meeting was held at 10:50 a.m. at the O'smach border checkpoint in Oddar Meanchey province between Cambodian Major General Chea Mon, commander of Military Region 4 and Lt Gen Thawatchai Samutsakorn, commander of Thai Army Region 2.

Phay Siphan, spokesman of the Office of the Council of Ministers of Cambodia said following a meeting that lasted about 45 minutes on Thursday, both agreed to an unconditional ceasefire and encouraged both sides to meet regularly to ease tension.

They also agreed to reopen the two countries' border pass that has been affected by the fighting and encouraged villagers who have fled their hometowns to return, he said.

"After the meeting, the two sides agreed that there will not be allowed to have renewed fighting and if there is any important issue between the two sides, they promise to meet and solve peacefully," a Cambodian military source, who asked not to be named, said on Thursday after the meeting.

The talks are made after the seven straight days of gunfire exchanges between Cambodian and Thai troops over the border areas at the 13th century Ta Moan temple and Ta Krabei temple in Oddar Meanchey province.

The fighting, however, was stopped after 8:30 am on Thursday, according to Lt. Gen. Chhum Socheat, spokesman of the Cambodia's Ministry of National Defense.

But the last six days of clashes have killed eight Cambodian and six Thai soldiers, and one Thai civilian, and several dozens injured, and forced tens of thousands of the two countries' people to flee home for safe shelters.

The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated.

Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008. But Thailand claims the ownership of 4.6 square kilometers (1.8 square miles) of scrub next to the temple.

Just a week after the enlistment, Cambodia and Thailand had a border conflict, triggering a military build-up along the border, and periodic clashes between Cambodian and Thai soldiers have resulted in the deaths of troops on both sides.

Source: Xinhua
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