Cambodia, Thai military talks result in 4 Thai soldiers released, three agreements
Cambodia on Saturday has delivered 4 Thai soldiers captured in a military clash at the border area near the 11th century temple on Friday afternoon back to Thailand after a 90 minute meeting between the military commanders of Cambodia and Thailand, Xinhua reported.
The meeting, held at Chorm Sra Ngam border checkpoint in Anlong Veng district, was attended by Cambodian Major General Srey Doek, commander of Military Division 3 and Major General Chea Mon, commander of Military Region 4, while Thai side including Lt Gen Thawatchai Samutsakorn, commander of Army Region 2 and Major General Chawalit Chunprasan, commander of the Suranari Military Camp, in an effort to find ways to prevent further military fighting.
Srey Doek told reporters after the meeting that Cambodia decided to release four Thai troops arrested on Friday's clash near Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple.
He added that at the meeting, both sides have agreed on three points: firstly, Thai side must suspend bulldozing land at the contentious border for road; secondly, both side agreed to urge the joint border committee to measure and demarcate the border as soon as possible; and thirdly there will be no more troop re- deployment and no more weapon explosion.
"Thai side has promised not to allow any weapon eruption in the future,"said Srey Doek, adding"but if Thai side still continues to invade into Cambodian territory, Cambodia will use its self-defense rights to defend our territory integrity."
Thai military commanders declined to comment after being questioned by reporters after the meeting.
The meeting was held after deadly military clashes twice on Friday afternoon and on Saturday early morning at the border near Preah Vihear Temple.
During the skirmishes, troops from both sides had exchanged fire of heavy weapons including rockets, machine guns and mortars, artillery.
Chan Sovanchay, a military official stationed at Preah Vihear Temple told Xinhua by telephone on Saturday that during the clash on Friday afternoon, two Cambodians were killed (one soldier and one tourist), and 22 were wounded, and the clash on Saturday morning, five Cambodian troops were seriously injured by shrapnel.
However, he added that he did not know how many Thai troops were killed in the two clashes, saying "I just saw that several corpses of Thai troops had been carried out of Cambodian territory by their fellow soldiers."
Meanwhile, Cambodia has sent an official letter to the United Nations Security Council on Saturday to complain about the invasions of Thai troops into Cambodia on Friday and Saturday.
The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated and the issue of Preah Vihear temple has been an age-old dispute. Although the Internal Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the temple itself belonged to Cambodia, the row over land plot of 4.6 square km around the temple has never been resolved. And the two sides have clashed over the border in the past with several deaths on both sides since 2008.