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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cambodia ready to wait as Thai crisis delays talks

PHNOM PENH (dpa) - Cambodia is content to wait for as long as it takes Thailand to settle its political upheavals and resume talks over disputed border territory, its government said Thursday.
Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said by telephone that it was the least Cambodia could do to give Thailand breathing room to get its internal affairs in order.

"The dispute over the border has been around 100 years," Kanharith said. "A few more weeks can't hurt."

Cambodia closed the border at the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple on its northern border in June. On July 7 Unesco declared the temple a World Heritage Site over Thai objections, and a week later, Thai troops moved into nearby areas that it said are disputed but that Cambodia said is its territory.

Cambodia claimed Thai troops also moved into the Moan temple complex 150 km to the west soon after - claims Thailand denied, saying it has had a troop presence near there for years.

Several rounds of talks have failed to resolve the deadlock with both sides vowing not to back down. Further talks are now on hold.

Thailand's Constitution Court on Tuesday found embattled Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej guilty of violating the national charter for hosting a television cooking show after he assumed office on February 6, forcing him out of his job.

Although the court's ruling immediately deprived Samak of the premiership, the constitution allows him to return to the post if members of parliament vote him back into power.

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