Cambodian and Thai officials met in Phnom Penh on June 11 to seek a cooperation for development along their border.

According to Koy Kuong, the spokesman of the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first meeting of the two countries’ Joint Committee on Border Area Development and Connectivity was co-chaired by Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and his Thai counterpart Surapong Tovichakchaikul.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Hor Namhong emphasised the importance of the meeting in fostering cooperation for development along the border. He said that the two sides will discuss the development of infrastructure connectivity, the establishment of special economic zones, trade exchange and tourism, he said.

He expressed his belief that through the meeting, the ties between Cambodia and Thailand will be further enhanced and their border will be turned into a border of friendship, cooperation and development in the future.

For his part, Surapong Tovichakchaikul said the meeting was held under the initiative of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen to boost bilateral relations.

Cambodia and Thailand are making efforts to improve their relation which has become tense due to the dispute on sovereignty over a 4.6 square kilometers area near Preah Vihear Temple since this temple was recognised by UNESCO as a world heritage site in July 2008. The dispute has led to many clashes between the two armies, claiming tens of lives.

In April 2011, Cambodia asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to clarify its decision made in 1962, which stated that Preah Vihear Temple belongs to Cambodia but did not determine the ownership of the surrounding area.

The court is expected to issue a final decision on who owns the disputed land around the temple later this year.-VNA