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Friday, September 09, 2011

Yingluck's visit to improve relations: Cambodian deputy PM

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- The visit of the newly elected Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to Cambodia next week would definitely ameliorate diplomatic ties between the governments of the two neighbors, said Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An on Friday.

Yingluck has scheduled to make a one-day official visit to Cambodia on Sept. 15 to pay courtesy call on Cambodian leaders as she just becomes the new Thai prime minister.

"The visit will build better bilateral cooperation between the two countries," he told reporters at the Phnom Penh International Airport upon his return from the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) in China's Nanning.

The urgent and facing issue the two countries need to tackle is troop pullout from the provisional demilitarized zone of surrounding the 11th century Preah Vihear temple to comply with the order of the International Court of Justice and to end the two countries' military confrontation.

It was still unclear if Prime Minister Hun Sen and Yingluck would raise this issue during the upcoming meeting, said Sok An.

Cambodia and Thailand have had sporadic border conflict over territorial dispute near Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple since the UNESCO listed the temple as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.

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

Meanwhile, Sok An, who is also chairman of Cambodian National Petroleum Authority, insisted that Cambodia and Thailand should resume oil deal negotiations for joint development at the overlapping maritime area in the Gulf of Thailand as soon as possible.

Cambodia and Thailand entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the area of their overlapping maritime claims to the continental shelf in June 2001, setting out an agreed area to be delimited and an agreed joint development area (JDA), but the talks was in limbo during the former Thai government under Abhisit Vejjajiva's administration.

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