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Cambodian Officials Awaiting Official Invite for Border Meeting

A villager is seen here tying timber to his motorcycle for trading, file photo.
A villager is seen here tying timber to his motorcycle for trading, file photo.

Cambodian officials from two provinces bordering Thailand say they are awaiting confirmation of a meeting with Thai counterparts, to discuss illegal export of timber.

The meeting has already been announced by the Thai media, for June 4 and June 5, but Cambodian officials in Oddar Meanchey and Preah Vihear provinces say they are waiting for an official notification.

Thai media said last week officials there want to discussed stricter measures to crack down on the felling of rosewood timber along the border.

Yim Buthorn, director of Oddar Meanchey’s information department, told VOA Khmer that his province hasn’t yet received an invitation from Thai side in Ubon Ratchathani province, but he said that the leaders of the province would take part in the meeting if it is confirmed.

“There is no problem with this if they submit the letters,” he said.

Preah Vihear Governor Oum Mara said he received information on the meeting, but it was now unclear whether the date had changed. “It’s not set yet,” he said.

Thai Visa News reported this week that the meeting could also focus on the formation of a national joint committee and provincial committees to address timber smuggling.

Yim Buthorn acknowledged that smuggling takes place in Oddar Meanchey, but he said authorities are trying to prevent it.

Meanwhile, Cambodia continues to lose forest cover, to economic development in concession areas and to the illegal timber trade.