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Cambodian, Thai PMs agree to redeploy troops at disputed border

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, July 13 (Xinhua) — Cambodia and Thailand agreed on Friday to redeploy military personnel in the Provisional Demilitarized Zone surrounding the Preah Vihear Temple in order to comply with the order of the International Court of Justice.

The verbal agreement was made during a meeting between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his visiting Thai Counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra.

The meeting was also attended by the two countries’ defense ministers – Cambodia’s Tea Banh and Thailand’s Sukumpol Suwanatat.

“Both sides had agreed and announced to re-deploy military personnel in the Provisional Demilitarized Zone, which is defined by the International Court of Justice,” Hun Sen told reporters in a joint press briefing after the meeting. “The redeployment is very important to enhance the two countries’ relationship.”

“The redeployment is the willingness of Cambodia and Thailand,” he said, adding that the military personnel will be replaced by police.

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong announced Friday morning that Cambodia will withdraw some 486 military personnel from the PDZ surrounding the Preah Vihear Temple in order to comply with the ICJ’s order issued on July 18 last year.

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, but Thailand claims the ownership of 4.6 square kilometers of scrub next to the temple.

Fierce clashes between the two sides’ troops had happened in February and April 2011 during Thailand’s Democrat Party rule.

The ICJ ordered on July 18, 2011 that Cambodia and Thailand must immediately withdraw their military personnel from the PDZ and refrain from any armed activity directed at that zone.

Also, it ordered both parties to allow ASEAN observers ( Indonesians) to access to the zone to monitor ceasefire.

The redeployment will be done without the arrival of the Indonesian observers.

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