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Cambodia, Vietnam Meet Over Border Concerns

Var Kimhong, chairman of Cambodia’s border committee, talks to journalists following a close-door meeting with his Vietnamese counterparts at Council of Ministers in Phnom Penh, Wednesday, July 08, 2015. (Neou Vannarin/VOA Khmer)

Cambodian and Vietnamese officials are meeting in Phnom Penh over border issues this week, but on the second of three days, no final decisions were made Wednesday.

Officials are meeting at the Council of Ministers building in Phnom Penh, to discuss last month’s violent clashes along the border, as well as Vietnam’s alleged construction of roads, ponds and a military outpost in contentious border areas.

Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son led the Vietnamese team, meeting with Var Kimhong, chairman of the Cambodian Government Border Committee, who told reporters Wednesday no agreements had been made in the negotiations.

Supporters for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party say Cambodia is not using the proper maps to discuss border issues, and Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested maps from the UN that were deposited there by late King Norodom Sihanouk in 1964.

Rescue Party lawmaker Real Camerin has invited Var Kimhong to the border area in Svay Rieng province where he and others were involved in an altercation with Vietnamese border personnel last month. Real Camerin had been leading a delegation there to investigate more reports of border encroachment.

Var Kimhong told reporters Wednesday he had “no duty” to go there. “I am working for the government, the executive branch, and he is working for the legislative. He can visit if he wants. No one will bother to stop him.”

Real Camerin said he had wanted to show Var Kimhong that the clash had taken place inside Cambodian territory. “If he thought of this as in the national interest, he should not refuse,” Real Camerin said.