PHNOM PENH —
Having reviewed a number of maps from the UN, Cambodian officials announced Thursday that the map Cambodia currently uses for border demarcation and negotiation is legitimate.
The new claim casts doubt on accusations from critics that the government is using outdated maps that make it easier for Vietnam to encroach on Cambodian territory. The government invited representatives of political parties, the National Assembly, Senate and Constitutional Council to view the maps, as well.
Var Kimhong, head of the Cambodian Border Committee, reviewed 18 maps, one by one, which show “the map being used for border demarcation with Vietnam is the same.”
“It is the same version,” he said, calling for an end to claims about false maps and for critics to “let the border committee work freely.”
Speaking to participants followed the session, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said Cambodia has not lost land to Vietnam. Cambodia has 26 map sections, 18 of which match with the 18 provided by the UN, he said. “As we have seen, there is no difference. I would like things to be clear for those who doubt.”
Even more maps will be sent soon from France, after which the government will provide another review, he said.
Sok Eysan, a spokesman for the Cambodian People’s Party, told reporters after the review session that officials hope it will dispel controversies over the maps. “There will not be national unity because of a map review,” he said. “However, importantly, there will be national unity if politicians hold their personal greed and see the truth.”
Ou Chanrith, who led a group from the Cambodia National Rescue Party to review the maps, said the opposition has not made a final decision on the legitimacy of Cambodia’s maps. With more maps coming from France, he said, “it is good to have more map reviews from different sources to verify the legitimacy of the government map.”