ASEAN chairman to visit Cambodia soon: government


PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) - Indonesian Foreign Minister R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa, who is also the chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will pay a one-day official visit to Cambodia soon, according to a press release from the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Saturday afternoon.

It said that during his stay in Phnom Penh, he will hold a bilateral talks with Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong.

The statement did not disclose if his visit to Cambodia will discuss about the military clashes between Cambodia and Thailand at the border area near Preah Vihear temple, in his status as the chairman of the ASEAN.

The twice skirmishes on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning between the two neighbors left dozens of troops and locals of the two countries killed and injured.

Koy Kuong, the spokesman for the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, could not be reached for comments on Saturday.

ASEAN consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008. Just a week after the enlistment, Cambodia and Thailand have had border conflict due to Thai claim of the ownership of 1.8 square miles (4.6 sq km) of scrub next to the temple, triggering a military build-up along the border, and periodic clashes between Cambodian and Thai soldiers have resulted in the deaths of troops on both sides.


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