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Cambodian PM calls for border of peace with Thailand

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday appealed to both Cambodians and Thais along the border to get on with each other to build a border of peace, friendship, cooperation and development.

“All authorities along the two countries’ border provinces should try to build up good relations for the two peoples in order to honor the two governments’ policy,” Hun Sen said during an inauguration ceremony of achievements in western Pailin province bordering Thailand’s Chanthaburi province.

The ceremony was also attended by Phunsak Pranutnoraphan, governor of Chanthaburi province, and other Thai military commanders along the border.

“I wish to see people along the border to live in peace without worrying about gunfire exchange and house fire,” he said. “I’d like to urge the governors, all levels of authorities, and armed forces of the two nations’ border provinces to be friendly to each other to build a border of peace and cooperation.”

Meanwhile, the premier warned that Thai side should not frequently close border checkpoints.

“Be careful, when you (Thai authorities) close the frontier, and Cambodia closes too, at that time, and Thailand will get loss because Thailand exports products to Cambodia in equivalent to more than 2 billion U.S. dollars a year, while Cambodia exports items to Thailand only around 200 million U.S. dollars,” he said.

Cambodia shares 805 km of border with Thailand to the west and northwest.

The two neighbors have had sporadic border conflicts 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 happened in February and April 2011 during Thailand’s Democrat Party rule.

However, the two countries have seen improving ties since August, 2011 when the former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai Party won the general election and led the current government.

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