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Thais brace for border clashes with Cambodia

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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:20 AM
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Thais brace for border clashes with Cambodia
Source: Reuters

KHAO PRA VIHARN, Thailand, July 23 (Reuters) - Thais living along the border with Cambodia began evacuation and weapon drills on Wednesday, fearing clashes between troops of the two countries if talks to resolve a land dispute fail.

But Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said tension would ease after a general election in Cambodia on Sunday, playing down Phnom Penh's diplomatic offensive and its plea for United Nations mediation.

"After the elections, they will soften their stance and talks will be easier," Samak told reporters in Bangkok, two days after talks between senior defence officials to end the dispute failed.

"Everything has been done for the July 27 poll and I need to keep quiet so as not to discredit Prime Minister Hun Sen," Samak said.

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I note that the Cambodian villagers frightened away by the Thai incursion of troops into Cambodia was never headline news!

Plus Thai PM Samak's remarks are pretty lame in light of the following facts: It was Thailand who rushed troops into the area first. Foreign policy analysts have stated that it is Thai nationalism that is driving this whole thing, not Cambodian politics (although it is a small factor). Why would Cambodia appeal to the U.N. for help if this is all political posturing on their part? That's a sign of weakness, not strength.

Thailand's story does NOT hold water!
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