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Foreign Minister Calls on Opposition To End Map Dispute

Maps from the French Embassy are on display as the maps are being handed over to Cambodia, September 03, 2015. (Hean Socheata/VOA Khmer)

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong says the ruling party has done enough to prove it is using the proper maps in its border demarcation efforts with Vietnam, following the inspection of a new set of maps Thursday provided by France.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has been pushing the government to end alleged border encroachment by Vietnam and has claimed the government is not using the right maps in its negotiations. Thursday’s map review looked at 26 map sections provided by the French Embassy.

“The border and map issue should be ended at this point,” Hor Namhong told reporters following the review. “Please, political parties, stop using this issue to campaign and to instigate Khmers to oppose the government.”

Hor Namhong said the opposition has “attacked me brutally,” over the map and border issue, but he said the maps they propose are unacceptable and come from “markets” and “the street.” The French map sections come from France’s Institute of Geography and Forestry.

​Var Kimhong, head of the Cambodian Border Committee, said Cambodia uses the same maps as those provided by France in its discussions with Vietnam over border demarcation.

Rescue Party lawmaker Ou Chanrith said Thursday that the opposition has a right to question Cambodia’s border policies, because “the territory doesn’t belong to any individual; it belongs to all.” The opposition will not criticize border policies that are based on the truth, he said.

Meanwhile, Rescue Party senator Hong Sok Hour has been arrested and detained for posting what authorities say are “fake” maps on Facebook.