Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 5, 2009; Talks can ease Thai-Cambodian border tension

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Sunday supported Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen's move to downplay a border clash, calling it the result of a misunderstanding that could be resolved through talks.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Saturday the clash would not escalate into a more serious conflict.

"I regard the fighting yesterday as an incident, not a war. I don't want to see these incidents repeated or fighting expand to other areas," Hun Sen said.

Tension over the fresh clash eased through sustained dialogue between Thai and Cambodian officials, Abhisit said on a weekly television programme.

He said the latest incident started with a Thai soldier stepping on a landmine in a disputed area over which both countries claimed sovereignty.

"Many border areas have problems arising from a dispute over counter claims by both countries," Abhisit said.

"There have been bilateral government talks over these problems, including contacts between me and Prime Mininister Hun Sen that have created mutual understanding that they should be resolved through negotiations," he said.

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