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Cambodia to withdraw troops as Laos, Cambodia agree on ways to resolve border dispute

Hanoi, Vietnam: Cambodia will withdraw troops from the disputed Laos-Cambodia border area by 5 pm today, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen announced here yesterday.
The Kingdom’s troops are unilaterally patrolling the disputed border area of Houay Tangao.  
Prime Minister Hun Sen made the announcement at a press conference held shortly after he met for talks with his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith. Mr Thongloun also attended the press conference.
The two premiers were in Hanoi to attend the 27th World Economic Forum on Asean. 
They reached an agreement adopting three conditions towards addressing the unresolved border area, Samdech Hun Sen told Lao and Cambodian reporters through an interpreter.

The conditions are as follows:
- There will be no army or troops in the unresolved area,
- There will be no people living or making a living in the unresolved area,
- Both sides will carry out joint patrols in the unresolved area.
Drones can be used as part of the joint patrols.
The Cambodian PM said he had ordered Cambodian troops to withdraw from the unresolved area by 5:00 pm today. “Houay Tangao is considered to be an unresolved area,” he told reporters.
Prime Minister Thongloun welcomed the outcome of the talks, saying both sides had reached an important agreement towards resolving the dispute concerning the border.
“Today’s agreement has created mutual trust for our two countries and peoples,” he said.
The two premiers agreed to ask France, which formerly ruled Laos and Cambodia, to provide the relevant map to be used as a reference in deciding where the border lay.
Both sides will work together to strictly observe and implement the agreed conditions that Prime Minister Hun Sen has detailed above, Mr Thongloun said.
“I agreed with what Samdech Hun Sen said, that our two Ministries of Foreign Affairs must quickly request France to provide a map so we can continue to resolve [the issue],” the Lao premier said.
Border committees from the two countries will be assigned to study essential features of the disputed areas in an attempt to address the problem. Mr Thongloun described the area as a friendship unresolved area, saying the agreement that had been reached would be an important reference for the two governments in working together to make the countries’ shared border “a border of friendship and cooperation”.
The two prime ministers also agreed that the joint cooperation committees of their countries would hold a meeting in the near future to discuss cooperation in various fields in order to realise the cooperation agreements previously reached by the leaders of both sides, Mr Thongloun said.

By Khamphanh in Hanoi & Souksakhone in Vientiane
(Latest Update
September 14,
2018

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