Cambodian, Lao Leaders Hold Talks on Border Issues in Phnom Penh

AKP, September 01, 2017 –Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen and his Lao counterpart H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith held bilateral talks on border issues at the Peace Palace, Phnom Penh this morning.

In the almost-two-hour-meeting, both leaders agreed on four mportant points related to remaining border issues, after their talks in Vientiane, Laos on Aug. 12, 2017.

First, in the next few days, the foreign ministers of the two nations will meet in Phnom Penh to find solution and seek understanding on the border issues, Samdech Techo Hun Sen told reporters at the joint press conference following their bilateral meeting.

Second, he added, the Lao side agreed to examine and settle four remaining points as requested in his letter to his Lao counterpart, and those four points have to be solved before that of O’ Tangav.

Third, the border committees of both nations are commissioned to negotiate and settle the remaining issues on site, at O’ Tangav in Stung Treng province, the Cambodian premier pointed out.

Last but not least, he said, the two Prime Ministers will send a letter to the French President requesting for French map experts to convert the map Bonne 1/100,000 to 1/50,000 and for other documents related to the Cambodia-Laos border.

“I can say with pride that the friendship between Cambodia and Laos is further strengthened and this time’s resolution is not only for one or two points, but it’s a package resolution,” he underlined.

For his part, H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith echoed the outcomes revealed by Samdech Techo Hun Sen, expressing his strong belief on the resolution to the border issues between both countries which is based on the friendship and equality.

“We agreed to do our best to maintain security and peace along the disputed border areas. […] I believe that both of us will be able to solve the remaining border issues of about 13-14 percent as an inheritance for our younger generations,” said H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith.

In April, a group of Lao armed forces crossed the Sekong River into Cambodia’s territory by boat to stop Cambodia from building a road along the border in Stung Treng province. The Cambodian side asked its Lao counterpart at different levels to remove the troops several times, but the Lao side seemed ignoring this request.

Last month, Samdech Techo Hun Sen issued an ultimatum to Laos to withdraw its troops without condition from the Cambodian territory before Aug. 17, 2017 after he has got no reply from his Lao counterpart to his letter dated Aug. 2, 2017 on the troop withdrawal request. Then, he flied to Vientiane to talk about this issue. Finally, the Lao side agreed to pull back all its troops from the Cambodian territory.

Cambodia and Laos share a common border of 540 kilometres. 86 percent or 464.5 kilometres of the borderline has been already examined and 121 of the total 145 border markers have been so far planted.

By Khan Sophirom