Cambodia, Thailand open talks on border standoff | world | Hindustan Times
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Cambodia, Thailand open talks on border standoff

world Updated: Jul 28, 2008 09:09 IST

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Foreign ministers from Cambodia and Thailand opened a new round of talks in Siem Reap on Monday to try to resolve a nearly two-week military standoff over an ancient temple.

Thousands of soldiers have deployed since July 15 to a small patch of land around the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple, which sits atop a mountain overlooking the Cambodian jungle.

The ruins of the Khmer temple belong to Cambodia, but the most practical entrance begins at the foot of a mountain in Thailand, and both sides claim some of the surrounding territory.

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and his newly appointed Thai counterpart Tej Bunnag began the talks around 10:20 am (0320 GMT) with a handful of top military officials from both countries, Thai and Cambodian officials said.

Talks between Thailand's armed forces chief General Boonsrang Niumpradit and Cambodia Defence Minister Tea Banh ended a week ago without resolution, with neither side backing down on their territorial claims.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the temple belongs to Cambodia, but surrounding land remains in dispute.