Thailand and Cambodia reach deal on temple border

A Cambodian soldier stands near Cambodia's famed Preah Vihear temple. The International Court of Justice has ordered troops from both sides to leave the area

Related Stories

Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to withdraw their troops from a disputed border area near the ancient temple of Preah Vihear.

The deal was reached after Thai Defence Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha met his Cambodian counterpart, Tea Banh, in Phnom Penh.

A territorial dispute over a patch of land around the temple has sparked deadly clashes between the two nations.

In April, fighting left 18 people dead and tens of thousands displaced.

The International Court of Justice ordered both sides to remove troops from the disputed area in July - but neither has complied.

Indonesian observers

According to a joint statement, both countries agreed to set up a working group on "redeployment of their military personnel completely and simultaneously from their current positions in the provisional demilitarised zone at the earliest".

Temple troubles

  • 1962: UN court awards temple to Cambodia; surrounding land remains undesignated
  • 2001-2002: Thai troops block access over water row
  • Jul 2008: Unesco lists temple World Heritage site; Thai foreign minister quits; both sides move in troops
  • Feb 2009: Clashes leave at least eight dead
  • Feb-Apr 2011: Skirmishes at Preah Vihear and elsewhere along border force tens of thousands to flee
  • July 2011: The International Court of Justice orders troops from both sides to leave

The withdrawal will take place in the presence of Indonesian observers, the statement added, according to AFP news agency.

Thailand does not dispute Cambodia's ownership of the World Heritage-listed temple, but both sides claim some of the surrounding area.

Tension had been increasing between Cambodia and Thailand since Unesco awarded Preah Vihear World Heritage status in 2008.

In April 2009, soldiers exchanged fire across the disputed border.

More serious trouble flared in February 2011, when at least eight people were killed in several days of fighting.

The violence moved westwards to another set of temples in April, before shifting back to Preah Vihear, as widespread clashes forced tens of thousands to flee.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Asia-Pacific stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • HollywoodThe dark side

    New films wallow in the sleazy underbelly of Hollywood - continuing a long tradition, writes Nicholas Barber

Programmes

  • A droneClick Watch

    Why flying drones in restricted airspace could land you in prison, plus other news

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.