Culture

Cambodia, Laos agree to withdraw troops from border

Cambodia, Laos agree to withdraw troops from border”

Hun Sen on Friday dispatched forces to the border and issued an ultimatum for Laos to withdraw the soldiers.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen travelled to the Laotian capital Vientiane to meet with his counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith on Saturday to diffuse tensions surrounding the presence of Laos troops in Steung Treng province, reports Efe news.

Hun Sen said a border commission from both countries would begin working in the area once troops have withdrawn. He said he had been in touch with the government in Laos.

An official at the Lao embassy in Phnom Penh told Reuters on Friday the border area was the subject of a territorial and demarcation dispute.

Hun Sen said he has ordered his military commanders to be ready to send combat forces to the disputed area but that at the moment a diplomatic solution remains possible. He urged Cambodians not to be alarmed if they see military forces on the move.

"I appeal to Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith to withdraw the forces out of Cambodia without any conditions, and the latest deadline is August 17", he said. "We don't want to have a dispute with Laos, but we also can not allow the situation remain like this anymore".

In a news conference after the meeting, broadcast live on Hun Sen's Facebook page with simultaneous translation into Khmer, the Lao leader said he had ordered the withdrawal.

According to Hun Sen the Laos soldiers crossed into Cambodia to halt the construction of a road.

A government critic who allegedly implied senior ruling Cambodian People's Party officials were involved in a cover up of the assassination of prominent political analyst Kem Ley previous year has been sentenced to 18 months in jail.



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