PHNOM PENH —
Cambodia’s border affairs committee on Monday told their Vietnamese counterparts during a meeting in Phnom Penh that they wanted to see a halt to all construction and development projects that overlapped onto Cambodian territory.
Cambodia said it would forcefully dismantle any construction on its soil.
Long Visalo, a secretary of state with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that he had told the Vietnamese delegation that “if they dare to build, I will give orders for the building’s removal.”
He added that the Cambodians were waiting for a response to an order from Cambodia for nine water catchment ponds to be filled in as they were dug on Cambodian soil.
Since 2011, Cambodia has sent more than 20 diplomatic letters to Vietnam to protest what it calls encroachment by the Vietnamese on its territory.
Visalo said Vietnam has always maintained that the construction was only occurring on Vietnamese land.
“One side says it’s Cambodian land, the other side says it’s Vietnam’s,” he added. “Now they agree to end the saga by taking the issue up with relevant ministries.”
Va Kim Hong, head of the border committee, said a joint letter to request the aid of former colonial power France in resolving the dispute had not yet been sent as there was an ongoing disagreement about its wording and contents.
Mao Monyvann, an opposition lawmaker with the Cambodia National Rescue Party, said the talks would not lead to a positive result for Cambodia without the help of a third-party such as France.
“I think it’s time for us to push for a resolution with the participation of powerful countries, or sue in an international court,” he said.