Cambodian, Lao Foreign Ministers Hold Talks on Border Issues

Cambodia's Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation H.E. Prak Sokhonn received his visiting Lao counterpart H.E. Saleumxay Kommasith, at the ministry office in Phnom Penh yesterday afternoon.

Both foreign ministers shared the outcomes of their meeting to reporters at a joint press conference held following their bilateral talks.

H.E. Saleumxay Kommasith said the meeting discussed the preparation of action plan based on the spirit of the recent meeting between the two countries' Prime Ministers as well as the remaining border issues.

For his part, H.E. Prak Sokhonn said this meeting reflects the high political commitment of the Governments of both nations to ending the remaining border issues.

According to H.E. Prak Sokhonn and H.E. Saleumxay Kommasith Cambodia-Laos Joint Border Committee was commissioned to resolve four points of border issue at Stung Treng province (Cambodia)-Champasak province (Laos) and at O' Tangav area.

Besides, the top diplomats of Cambodia and Laos agreed on the content of the draft letter for the French President to be signed by both Prime ministers.

On Sept. 1, 2017, in their almost-two-hour-meeting, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith agreed on four important 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. Second, the Lao side agreed to examine and settle four remaining points as requested in Samdech Techo Hun Sen's 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. Last but not least, 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.

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.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press