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Thai Park Re-Opens in Promising Sign for Border

A national park in Thailand near the disputed border at Preah Vihear temple opened on Tuesday, Thai media reported, in a sign officials say is promising for further negotiations.

The park had been closed since July 14, after Thai and Cambodian troops amassed along the border over a disputed strip of land near the World Heritage temple.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan welcomed the re-opening, reiterating Cambodia’s hopes for peaceful resolution to the standoff.

“So, that can be an additional weight to encourage negotiation and talks in reviewing the border line of demarcation,” he said.

Defense Minister Gen. Tea Banh said the opening of the park showed there were “no more big obstacles” for resolving the dispute. “Some issues remain, but hopefully those will be solved.”

Both sides have agreed in principle to drawing down troops in the area.

The park may be open, but the border to Thailand at Preah Vihear temple remains closed, and local tourist companies say they still fear bringing clients to the 11th Century Hindu temple.