Friday, August 28, 2009

August 27, 2009; Cambodia Troops Leave Preah Vihear Temple

Cambodia began a partial withdrawal of troops from its disputed border with Thailand.

"This shows the positive position of Cambodia, that we want to live in peace, and is something the two nations will benefit from," said the Deputy commander in chief of Cambodia's armed forces.

"At the same time, we still have enough troops to defend our own territory," he told Reporters by telephone from the border.

The regional commander on the Thai side of the border said there were no plans to follow suit.

"There will be no withdrawal from this side," Thai Major-General told Reporters.

The Preah Vihear temple, which is perched on an escarpment that forms a natural border between the two Southeast Asian neighbours, has for decades been a source of tension and nationalist fervour.

Cambodia was awarded Preah Vihear in a 1962 international court ruling.

The two countries are also in dispute over parts of the Gulf of Thailand, where oil and gas deposits have been found.

Military representatives from both sides agreed on Monday to exercise restraint at the border. The Cambodian pull-back is due to end on Sunday.

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