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Official Explains Situation On Laos-Cambodia Border

Source: Vientiane Times

Laos and Cambodia have completed the demarcation of about 87 percent of their border, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced during a news conference held in Vientiane to provide an explanation about the recent problem on the frontier.

The Office of the National Boundary Committee under the ministry briefed the local media about its work with the Cambodian side that is being carried out with the understanding of both nations.

The Director General of the office, Mr Phengsavanh Keopraseuth, said that the Lao and Cambodian governments green-lighted the survey and demarcation of the borderline in 1995, based on four principles, including the understanding of the borderline between two countries according to the 1/100,000 map and other related maps printed during 1933-1953 by the Indochina map department.

It was also agreed that the demarcation would be based on international principles of demarcating borderlines, based on awareness of which areas were owned by local residents since ancient times and on equality, fairness, compromise, and respecting the rights and the advantages of both nations as well as unity.

“Both sides started to demarcate the borderline in 2000 and until now, they have completed demarcating about 87 percent of the 535-km of the borderline of Laos and Cambodia. Now they still have about 13 percent of the borderline between the two countries to be demarcated, ” MrPhengsavanh explained.

He said all issues would be discussed and resolved together by the two governments, particularly the disputed areas from Kaengtormorkhoy to Houa ytangao. “Both sides still have not yet surveyed and demarcated the borderline in the area because they still have different versions,” he said.

Champassak and Attapeu provinces of Laos share a border with PreahVihear, Stung Treng and RattanakKiri provinces of Cambodia.

After the tension on the frontier last week, Prime Minister ThonglounSisoulith warmly welcomed his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen and his senior officials when they made an emergency visit to Vientiane last Saturday morning to discuss the problem. Both premiers agreed to withdraw their troops and to allow border committees, including representatives of the foreign ministries of Laos and Cambodia, to meet for negotiations to resolve the problem while also aiming to gain the confidence of the people of both countries.

Prime Minister Thongloun said after the discussions that both sides would pay attention to solving problems together, and not allow any violence to occur in the area. He held straightforward discussions and noted the friendship with Prime Minister Hun Sen, while setting the condition that the tension should not lead to violence. Prime Minster Thongloun told the media after the discussions that Laos would withdraw all involved sectors out of the area where there was a problem with Cambodia by Sunday morning (August 13, 2017) after Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered his officials to stop the construction of a road in the area.

Cambodia also agreed to withdraw its troops from the area to normalise the situation and ensure confidence among the people of both countries. Both sides also agreed to continue discussions and regular exchange of visits to solve problems on the basis of the four principles agreed on for demarcating the borderline.