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Cambodia Calls on Vietnam to “End Border Encroachment”

Related Cambodia-Vietnam border documents, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, February 4, 2016. (Photo: Hean Socheata/ VOA Khmer)

A meeting has been scheduled between the two sides for August 29 to discuss the issue.

The Cambodian government has called on long-term ally Vietnam to stop what it called encroachment by Vietnamese on its territory.

A letter sent to Hanoi by the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation late last week detailed alleged violations of the country’s territory by Vietnamese, including the digging of nine reservoirs and the construction of buildings and roads in the country’s east, as well as the construction of a military outpost in Kandal province and a gateway allegedly on Cambodian land in Takeo province.

A meeting has been scheduled between the two sides for August 29 to discuss the issue.

Chum Sounry, foreign affairs spokesman, could not be reached for comment.

Va Kim Hong, head of the government committee tasked with assessing the border dispute, said the government “didn’t accept this land encroachment”, which he said was illegal under international law.

He added that the government had decided to go public with the complaint after closed-door discussions had led to a dead end, but hoped that the Vietnamese government would now work to resolve the issue.

The letter also showed that the two countries have signed an agreement to call on France to assist them in demarcating the border, the exact location of which has been officially disputed since independence from the former colonial power.

Mao Monyvann, an opposition lawmaker with the Cambodia National Rescue Party, welcomed France’s involvement in the dispute, but said the discussions did not lead to an amicable resolution, and said that Cambodia should take the case to an international court of arbitration.