The Phnom Penh Post
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 15:03 Cheang Sokha
MINISTER of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong said Tuesday that Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was right to say that Thailand has not lost any territory to Cambodia during border talks between the two countries.
"It is true that in the border negotiations Thailand did not lose land to Cambodia," Hor Namhong told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "I think this is a positive point for Thai people because in the past, Thai opposition members have claimed that [as a result of] the negotiations, Thailand has lost land to Cambodia."
On Monday, Abhisit was quoted by Thai media as saying that Thailand has not lost any territory to date around the disputed Thai-Cambodian border area near Preah Vihear temple.
Abhisit also ordered his foreign minister, Kasit Piromya, to speak Monday night on national television to explain the details of border negotiations that were approved by the Thai parliament last week.
Hor Namhong also addressed the construction of a road to Ta Moan temple in Oddar Meanchey province by soldiers of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, an issue that was cause for concern for some Thai politicians during parliamentary discussions.
"The construction Cambodia is doing is completely on Cambodian soil," he said, adding that Cambodia will continue work on the road regardless of these objections.
Chhum Socheat, spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, said Tuesday that Minister of Defense Tea Banh will meet with his Thai counterpart in late September or early October in the Thai resort town of Pattaya to continue border talks under the auspices of the General Border Commission.
"The General Border Commission meeting will focus on various issues related to the border, including security, terrorism, trafficking and reduction of military forces," Chhum Socheat said.
He added that relations between Thai and Cambodian troops stationed along the border have been friendly since Cambodia withdrew 50 percent of its forces there last month.
Cambodia and Thailand have never fully demarcated their 805-kilometre shared border. Since July 2008, skirmishes between soldiers from the two countries stationed at the border have killed at least seven soldiers.