BANGKOK, Sept 26 -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has agreed to improve bilateral relations with Thailand--relations which have been impeded by border dispute near an ancient temple, according to his Thai counterpart Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Speaking Sunday during his weekly TV and radio address, Mr Abhisit said his meeting with Mr Hun Sen on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly in New York on Friday produced fruitful results as both agreed that relations between the two countries should become lively.
He said he will meet several times with Mr Hun Sen during upcoming sessions of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to which both countries belong.
Friday’s meeting of the two leaders was the first time after UNESCO’s World Heritage Commission acted in late July to postpone its decision over Cambodian’s unilateral plan to manage the Preah Vihear temple complex following an objection by the Thai government.
Their cordial discussions in New York caused cross-border trade in the Thai border district of Phu Sing district in Si Sa Ket provjnce to become lively again early Sunday, said Hattachai Pengchaem, who heads the trade and tourism operators association in Chong Sa-ngam.
Residents from both sides of the border crossed over and exchanged consumer goods, Mr Hattachai said.
Cross border trade will again become lively, traders said, in response to seeing pictures of Prime Minister Hun Sen and Prime Minister Abhisit being cordial to one another.
"Seeing both men shaking hands during the [New York] meeting in local newspapers," Mr Hattachai said, was creating an improved spirit on the border.
“This is a good sign. Our peoples will gain more confidence and [the meeting] will help boost tourism, especially for Cambodia,” Mr Hattachai added. (MCOT online news)