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Foreign Minister Departs for Temple Talks

Cambodian Foreign Minsiter Hor Namhong said Monday he was "optimistic" the conflict over Preah Vihear temple would be solved in his talks with his Thai counterpart, Tej Bunnag, this week.

"My goal is to do whatever we can to withdraw all the troops from the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda," he told reporters before departing for Thailand Monday. He would also seek further meetings on border demarcation, he said.

Thai and Cambodian troops executed a partial withdrawal from the pagoda over the weekend, following a steady build-up since July 15. Police on Sunday prevented a demonstration over the crisis by the Cambodian Confederation of Unions.

After the meeting Monday, Hor Namhong plans to visit Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, to brief him on developments along the Thai-Cambodian border, he said.

"This is a simple problem, about border territory, around the world, so Cambodia and Thailand are committed to a peaceful solution by law," he said.