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Cambodia Turns to Asean in Border Dispute

Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong notified his Thai counterpart on Monday that Cambodia wanted to put an ongoing border dispute on the agenda of an Asean summit scheduled later this month.

The two countries have been adamant about solving the dispute bilaterally, but talks have failed for more than a year, and violence between soldiers based on the border have lead to at least seven deaths and potential escalation.

Thailand will host the three-day summit, starting, Oct. 23, in Hua Hin.

Hor Namhong’s Oct. 12 letter to Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Phiromya requests that the dispute be included on the Asean agenda, after Kasit said last week he would seek a “neutral organization” to “provide an avenue for Thailand and Cambodia to settle the dispute.”

Cambodian and Thai troops have been deployed to the border near Preah Vihear temple since July 2008, when the temple was added to a Unesco World Heritage list, sparking older grievances over border demarcation, including a small strip of land nearby.