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Cambodia Protests Further Thai Incursions

The Cambodia government sent a request to Thailand’s foreign ministry Monday officially requesting it halt incursions into the Ta Krabey temple in Oddar Meanchey province.

In a letter sent from the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok, officials said the Cambodian government “strongly urges the Thai side to stop sending Thai soldiers into [Ta Krabey], pending demarcation work of the Joint Boundary Commission on Demarcation of Land Boundary.”

Maj. Seng Sophal, deputy chief of the Thmar Doun district police post, near Ta Krabey, said Wednesday around 10 armed Thai soldiers were guarding the temple, and a Thai helicopter had circled the temple five times on Monday.

The Ta Krabey temple is part of the Ta Moan temple complex, which has become a second point of contention in an ongoing military standoff that started with Preah Vihear temple in July.

“Although we heard that the Thai side is sending its soldiers into the temple, the Cambodian government’s stance is that this needs to be negotiated by bilateral talks,” Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said.

A Thai Embassy official in Phnom Penh declined to comment on the letter, saying he had not seen the request. The Thai government has gone through two foreign ministers since the standoff began.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Sin Bunthoeun said Wednesday Cambodia and Thailand will plan bilateral talks on the disputed areas after the formation of Cambodia’s government.

Cambodian lawmakers swore in to the new government in a ceremony Wednesday.