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Cambodian FM invites new Thai counterpart for visit to restore bilateral ties

08-10-2011 15:22 BJT

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong on Wednesday extended an invitation to his newly appointed Thai counterpart Surapong Tovichakchaikul to visit Cambodia in order to ameliorate bilateral ties and cooperation.

The invitation was made just a day after Surapong was officially appointed as Thailand's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

"As the start of our good collaboration, I would be very pleased if you could accept my invitation to pay an official visit to Cambodia at a convenient date in the near future," Hor Namhong wrote in a congratulatory message to Surapong on Wednesday.

"I look forward to working closely with you to reinvigorate the bonds of traditional friendship and fruitful cooperation between Cambodia and Thailand for the benefits of our two peoples and our ASEAN family as a whole," he said.

"I have full confidence that with our joint endeavor, you and I will be able to fulfill the aspiration of our two peoples to live in harmony and shared prosperity."

The two neighbors have border dispute since July 2008 when Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, but Thailand claims the ownership of 4.6 square kilometers (1.8 square miles) of scrub next to the temple.

Since then, both sides have built up military forces along the border and periodic clashes have happened, resulting in the deaths of troops and civilians on both sides.

However, the border tension between the two countries has been eased since the former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Pheu Thai Party won a landslide victory in the general elections on July 3.

Cambodia is highly optimistic that with the Pheu Thai-formed Thai government led by Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of Thaksin, the two countries' border conflict will be resolved peacefully.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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