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Three Jailed Thais Released by Royal Pardon

With Cambodian flags flutter on the top of a gate in the background, Thai soldiers guard Aranyaprathet checkpoint in Thailand.

Three Thai nationals who were to serve 18-month jail sentences for illegally entering the country were granted a royal pardon on Tuesday, following high-level talks and the celebration of 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The three men were arrested in Oddar Meanchey province and accused of illegal entry and possession of weapons.

They were released at the end of a two-day visit by Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Pirumya and senior military officials in an apparent goodwill gesture, as both sides have slowly begun to repair relations.

Touch Ra, head of a joint border communication group at the Choam-Srawngam international checkpoint, said a Thai consular official had walked the three men across the border at 1 pm on Tuesday, where family members were waiting for them.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Hun Sen said the release had been the result of discussions between the premier and Kasit.