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Thai, Cambodia Premiers Vow Peace on Border

The prime ministers of Cambodia and Thailand on Friday affirmed their goal to maintain peace along the disputed border, where military clashes over the past year have led to casualties on each side.

“Both sides agreed to avoid armed conflict along the border,” a spokesman for Prime Minister Hun Sen said, following talks in Phnom Penh.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is on his first official visit to Cambodia. Both sides have hundreds of troops amassed along the contested border near Preah Vihear temple.

Fighting, including rocket and mortar fire, has ensued at least twice since last July, killing at least three soldiers on each side.

Hun Sen suggested military officers on both sides hold regular meetings to ease tensions, and Abhisit agreed, according to spokesman Eng Sophallet.

No demonstrations were held for Abhisit’s visit, despite warnings from the Cambodian Confederation of Unions. The confederation held a gathering at its headquarters instead, in protest of alleged Thai incursions into Cambodia.

As part of his visit, Abhisit returned seven stone artifacts from the Angkorian period seized from smugglers on the Thai side of the border. Cambodia has requested the return of 46 artifacts.