Cambodia, Laos agree to withdraw troops from border

Cambodian leader says border crisis with Laos averted

Cambodia, Laos agree to withdraw troops from border

Hun Sen flew to the Laotian capital, Vientiane, on Saturday morning, a trip announced just the day before, when he had set an August 17 deadline for Laotian troops to withdraw or be confronted by Cambodia's military.

Following Hun Sen's orders yesterday, a convoy of Cambodian troops and multiple rocket launchers rolled through the capital Phom Penh on their way north, eliciting cheers from onlookers.

Cambodia and Laos have generally warm relations as both had fraternal communist governments after 1975.

Hun Sen said Friday that the problem began in April when about 30 Laotian soldiers entered a no-man's land on the border to stop Cambodian military engineers from building a road on what Cambodia maintains is its territory in Stung Treng province. "Secondly, Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered the troops that have been built up in that area to make the situation in that area return to normalcy, restoring the belief of the people of our two countries that no undesirable incidents will happen", he added.

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"Today, we had frank talks in a friendly manner", the Lao state-run news agency KPL quoted Prime Minister Thongloun as telling a joint press conference in the Lao capital of Vientiane. He urged Cambodians not to be alarmed if they see military forces on the move.

In 2013 the U.N.'s top court ruled that the area belonged to Cambodia and ordered Thai troops to leave.

Thongloun said that he and Prime Minister Hun Sen also agreed that border committees of the two countries and the Foreign Ministries would continue to have talks to find solutions to issues related to the border, where border markers have yet to be planted, as soon as possible. "We don't want to have a dispute with Laos, but we also can not allow the situation remain like this anymore".

Cambodia and Laos on Saturday on Saturday agreed to withdraw their troops from the border between them Cambodia had accused Laotian troops of encroaching on its territory.

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Cambodian media have reported tensions on the border with Laos at least since February.

"Our biggest success is that there is no dispute that can't be solved", Hun Sen said at the news conference.

Border issues are often highly politicised in Cambodia, with Hun Sen especially vulnerable to criticism of being too lenient in territorial agreements with Vietnam.

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