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Siam envoy vows to deepen ties with Cambodia in all fields

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) — Newly-designated Thai ambassador to Cambodia Touchayoot Pakdi pledged on Wednesday to strengthen and deepen bilateral ties and cooperation with Cambodia in all fields for both sides’ mutual benefits.

Speaking at a meeting with Cambodian deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, the ambassador asserted that during his diplomatic mission, he would do all his best to deepen friendship relations and cooperation between the two neighbors.

“We are neighbors, we have a lot of things in common such as in culture and peoples’ ways of life,” he said. “More importantly, we will be together in an ASEAN Community in 2015.”

Hor Namhong said Cambodia wished to see stronger ties with Thailand in order to build up peace, friendship, cooperation and development for the two countries, especially for the peoples along the border.

He added that the two countries have much room to grow in trade, investment and tourism, saying that in the first eight months of 2012, the bilateral trade volume had hit 2.7 billion U.S. dollars.

On tourism side, during the first 10 months of 2012, about 160, 030 Thais had visited Cambodia, up 75 percent year-on-year, making Thai tourists the fifth largest arrival groups to Cambodia.

Cambodia and Thailand 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 km of scrub next to the temple.

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

However, the two neighbors 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.

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong (R) shakes hands with newly-designated Thai ambassador to Cambodia Touchayoot Pakdi in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, on Jan. 2, 2013. Touchayoot Pakdi pledged on Wednesday to strengthen and deepen bilateral ties and cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia in all fields for both sides' mutual benefits. (Xinhua/Sovannara)

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong (R) shakes hands with newly-designated Thai ambassador to Cambodia Touchayoot Pakdi in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, on Jan. 2, 2013. Touchayoot Pakdi pledged on Wednesday to strengthen and deepen bilateral ties and cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia in all fields for both sides’ mutual benefits. (Xinhua/Sovannara)

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