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Cambodia invites Thailand for 8th GBC meeting: defense spokesman

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) — Cambodia’s Ministry of Defense has sent a letter to Thailand’s Defense Minister Gen. Yuthasak Sasiprapa to propose the 8th Cambodia-Thailand General Border Commission (GBC) on Dec. 20-25 in Phnom Penh, Lt. Gen. Chhum Socheat, spokesman for Cambodian Ministry of Defense, confirmed on Wednesday.

The letter, signed by Cambodia’s Minister of Defense Gen. Tea Banh, was sent to the Embassy of Thailand to Cambodia on Nov. 29, the spokesman said.

“Now we’re waiting for the reply from the Thai side for the proposed schedule of the meeting,” he said.

The upcoming meeting will focus on strengthening security along the border by cracking down on cross border crimes and other offensive activities, he said.

Also, the two ministers will discuss troop withdrawals from the provisional demilitarized zone (PDZ) of about 17 km near Preah Vihear temple to comply with the order of the International Court of Justice.

Cambodia and Thailand have had sporadic border conflict over territorial dispute near Cambodia’s Preah Vihear temple since the UNESCO listed the temple as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.

On July 18, the International Court of Justice ordered Cambodia and Thailand to immediately withdraw their military personnel from the provisional demilitarized zone on the disputed border near Preah Vihear temple and to allow ASEAN observers access to the provisional demilitarized zone to monitor ceasefire.

The border tension has eased since the opposition Pheu Thai Party won a victory in Thailand’s lower house election on July 3.

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