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Cablegate: Cambodia Preparing for Downgraded Thai Visit;

VZCZCXRO3216
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHPF #0840 2841140
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101140Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9989
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 2529
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 2335
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0172
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0649
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0674
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 3228
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 0113
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY 0013
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2325
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 0132

UNCLAS PHNOM PENH 000840

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, P, D
NSC FOR L. PHU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KTIA MOPS TH CB
SUBJECT: CAMBODIA PREPARING FOR DOWNGRADED THAI VISIT;
STILL FOCUSED ON BORDER ISSUES

REF: PHNOM PENH 814

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED.

1. (SBU) Cambodian officials learned late October 10 that
the Thai Prime Minister has postponed his official visit to
Cambodia originally scheduled for October 12-13.
Nonetheless, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) is
awaiting the visit of Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister Sompong Amornvivat, who was apparently delegated by
the Thai PM to make the visit. MFA note verbales from the RGC
announcing official arrival times of the Thai PM's delegation
had already been issued when the news of the official
postponement arrived. The Thai embassy's first secretary had
just received the word himself and could only speculate that
internal Thai matters had detained the PM at home.

2. (SBU) Senior Minister and RGC Chair of the Joint Border
Commission Var Kimhong told A/DCM that RGC Deputy Prime
Minister Hor Namhong would receive his counterpart the
morning of October 13 and that the RGC planned to raise
bilateral border issues. No follow-on meetings had yet been
planned; Var Kim Hong noted any detailed talks on the
Thai-Cambodian border would depend on what transpired between
the two foreign ministers.

3. (SBU) The talks come as both sides begin again to ramp
up troop presence along Cambodia's northern border with
Thailand in several patches of disputed territory along the
Dangrek Range. The most prominent of these disputed areas is
near to the ancient Khmer Preah Vihear temple awarded to
Cambodia by the International Court of Justice in 1962 and
designated a UNESCO World Heritage site last July 7. A brief
clash on October 3 and the serious injury of two Thai
soldiers from mine blasts on October 6 have contributed to
tensions along the border. (NOTE: In 2007, 357 Cambodians
suffered casualties from mine blasts and the vast majority of
these occurred in the northwestern and northern provinces
which were heavily mined by Khmer Rouge forces up until their
surrender in the Preah Vihear area in 1998. Tourists to
Preah Vihear who wander off into the surrounding landscape
have also suffered mine injuries, due to lack of knowledge by
RGC authorities of Khmer Rouge mine fields and incomplete
clearance of old mines. END NOTE.)
CAMPBELL

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