National border committee to clarify treaty with Vietnam

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) - Prime Minister Hun Sen has authorised the national committee on border affairs to clarify the recent agreements between Cambodia and Vietnam.

Upon the request of the Supreme Council for Consultation, Prime
Minister Hun Sen has authorised the national committee on border affairs
to clarify the recent agreements between Cambodia and Vietnam.

During a state visit to Vietnam last week, Hun Sen and Vietnamese
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed the Supplementary Treaty to the
1985 Treaty on the Delimitation of the National Boundary and the 2005
Supplementary Treaty.

The Protocol on the Demarcation and Marker Planting of the
Land Boundary between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Socialist Republic
of Vietnam was also inked.

The 1985 treaty drew criticism from the Supreme Court-dissolved
Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), which accused the government of
ceding Cambodian territory to its eastern neighbour.

The Supreme Council for Consultation said national border
committee chairman Var Kim Hong and his delegation will clarify the
agreements on Thursday at a meeting led by its rotating chair, Kem
Rithisith.

“This meeting is very important because it will provide insights into
the issue and enable the council to explain to citizens about the
latest developments and the government’s efforts in handling border
issues peacefully with neighbouring countries,” the council said in a
statement.

Chhim Phal Virun, the council’s general secretary, told The Post:
“Through this meeting, the government can produce all the documents to
the 16 political parties in a transparent manner.”

Cambodian Youth Party president Pich Sros said clarifying border
issues to the public is important as it will help clear doubts over the
treaty. Without such clarification, he said, social disorder may follow.

“We want to know about border issues and also wish to engage citizens
in investigating border issues. The government, political parties and
citizens must work together to protect our territorial integrity. Every
stakeholder should know whether or not border measurement is
transparent,” he said.

Kim Hong said his committee will produce all documents related to
border issues in a transparent manner. He flatly rejected claims that
the government had ceded land to Vietnam, saying the accusation was made
to gain political advantage.

“We assume full responsibility and do the work with transparency. Neither Cambodia nor Vietnam loses land,” he said.

Sok Touch, the president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia who had
previously researched border issues, said he was not aware of what would
be brought up during Thursday’s meeting.

“I doubt the Supreme Council for Consultation has enough expertise on
border issues to fully understand and clarify it [to the public],” he
said.

Cambodia and Vietnam have set up 315 poles, or 84 per cent of a total 371 poles along the 1,245km shared border.

The two countries have not agreed on the remaining 16 per cent of
borderline, and have requested France to facilitate in marking the
border.

The remaining 56 poles, or 16 per cent, are to be planted in
Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Tbong Khmum, Svay Rieng, Kandal, and Takeo
provinces.

Photos