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Border Meeting With Vietnam Ends in Deadlock


Chairman of Cambodia's border committee Var Kim Hong (C) attends a meeting on border demarcation between Cambodia and Vietnam at the Council Ministers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, August 29, 2016.

Chairman of Cambodia's border committee Var Kim Hong (C) attends a meeting on border demarcation between Cambodia and Vietnam at the Council Ministers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, August 29, 2016.

The two sides met to discuss a plan of action to address disputes over alleged encroachment on Cambodian territory by Vietnamese interests.

A closed-door meeting on border issues between Vietnam and Cambodia on Tuesday ended in deadlock.

The two sides met to discuss a plan of action to address disputes over alleged encroachment on Cambodian territory by Vietnamese interests.

Va Kim Hong, head of the Cambodian Border Committee, told reporters that the parties could not issue a joint statement after the meeting as there was no agreement reached on border delineation.

“[We] explained to them that thinking like that is not right because … [it will] not affect any [existing] treaties,” Kim Hong said.

“The demarcation between Cambodia and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at that time in [19]83 follows the boundary lines on the Indochina map with a scale of 1/100,000. It means that the boundaries on that Indochina map, which is the map that the colonial power left for us when we gained independence in 1953” matches our proposals, he added.

Both countries agreed to continue to demarcate the border, he added, and would continue negotiations over a draft letter that will be sent to the French government to request technical assistance in the dispute.

Vietnamese delegates declined to talk to the media.

Son Chhay, an opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker, said Cambodia in the midst of a political crisis could not effectively negotiate with Vietnam.

“We have the Paris [Peace] Agreement, which signatory countries guarantee our sovereignty and we are a member of the United Nations, which can use the international court system to help,” he said.

Kim Hong said Cambodia was not yet in a position to bring a case before an international court, saying the process was complex and expensive.

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