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Cambodia, Thai Defense Ministers Meet on Border Issues

FILE - Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.
FILE - Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.

Thailand's defense minister, Prawit Wongsuwon, led a military delegation to Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh December 24 for a two-day visit as part of an annual event aimed at discussing border-related issues between the two neighbors.

The 10th General Border Committee (GBC), which included delegations from both Thailand and Cambodia, met for about one hour at the Phnom Penh Sofitel Hotel, aiming to bring peace to the border region.

Prawit and his Cambodian counterpart, General Tea Banh, signed an agreement at the end of the meeting representing a commitment to maintaining peace and to stopping illegal trafficking of humans, drugs and logging, across both land and sea borders.

“We will continue to discuss between the two sides in order to organize between whoever is involved in the border issues to carry out this agreement effectively in the future,” General Banh told reporters at a press conference after the meeting.

The two defense ministers also agreed to promote the standard of living for people from both sides, and jointly stressed their commitment to fighting terrorism.

“Regarding the shooting to death of Cambodians along the border, we have no intention to do so,” Prawit added, in response to a question from the media regarding the shooting to death of Cambodians who cross the border to cut rosewood by Thai soldiers.

Both sides have agreed to hold the 11th GBC meeting in Thailand next year.

Prawit is also expected to meet Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen December 25 before leaving the city.