Cambodia pulls out of meet over venue swap

A meeting between the Thai and Cambodian defence ministers set for tomorrow in Surin has been postponed indefinitely.

Cambodia is not happy with the meeting's change in venue, a defence source says.

The lunch meeting had been set for the Surin Majestic Hotel but Cambodia has now pulled out, the defence ministry source said.

The meeting had originally been set to take place within the disputed territory surrounding the Preah Vihear temple.

The venue was changed on Saturday after the Foreign Ministry here said that holding it in the contested area could put Thailand at a legal disadvantage in the countries' ongoing border dispute.

Cambodian Defence Minister Gen Tea Banh had earlier agreed to the change ahead of the lunch meeting with his Thai counterpart, ACM Sukumpol Suwanatat, the source said.

However, Cambodia yesterday changed its mind and requested that the meeting be postponed due to the change in venue, the source said.

The two sides would attempt to re-schedule the meeting at a later date, the source added.

The ministry's warning followed reports on Saturday that ACM Sukumpol and Gen Tea Banh would have lunch tomorrow in a tent in the contested border zone to discuss the dispute.

The meeting was aimed at cooling tensions along the border ahead of the International Court of Justice's ruling on the disputed area around the temple.

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Writer: Wassana Nanuam
Position: Reporter