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Thai Parliament Chief Pays a Visit

Thai Parliamentary President Chai Chidchob will pay his first official visit to Cambodia Thursday, in a tense political environment over contested border issues.

During his two-day visit Chai Chidchob is scheduled to see King Norodom Sihamoni and hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Cambodian counterparts, National Assembly President Heng Samrin and Senate President Chea Sim.

Thai Embassy officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The visit, at the invitation of Heng Samrin, will hopefully strengthen cooperation between the two neighbors, said Cheam Yiep, a ruling party lawmaker.

Heng Samrin will seek a solution to the long-running border dispute near Preah Vihear temple, where soldiers on both sides have been engaged in a standoff for more than a year, Cheam Yiep said.

“We want the border issue to be resolved urgently and peacefully,” he said.

Heng Samrin will ask his counterpart for the return from the Thai government of artifacts stolen from Cambodia, Cheam Yiep said.