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Senior Officials Meet Over Border Row

National Assembly President Heng Samrin met with his Thai counterpart Thursday, asking him to reduce the number of Thai troops along the border near Preah Vihear temple.

Heng Samrin met with Thai Parliamentary President Chai Chidchob at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh, as the Thai lawmaker made his first official visit, amid a restive military standoff that is now more than a year old and has caused at least seven deaths.

“Mr. Heng Samrin provided recommendations to Mr. Chai Chidchob to return the military tension along the border to normalcy in aiming at solving the border dispute and reducing military tension,” Korm Kosal, spokesman for the National Assembly, told reporters Thursday. “Our two nations are solving our border dispute peacefully. [Honorable] Heng Samrin demands that Thailand maintain a calm like that prior to July 15, 2008.”

The Thai parliamentarian said he would take the request to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Korm Kosal said.

Chai also met with Prime Minister Hun Sen, requesting that he maintain a good relationship with Thailand, said Ieng Sophalleth, a spokesman for the premier.

Hun Sen requested “that we should prevent armed conflict and use all mechanisms to solve this problem and promote our borders to become peaceful, stable and developed,” the spokesman said.

Chai will meet King Norodom Sihamoni and Senate President Chea Sim before he returns to Bangkok on Friday.