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What’s in a name? Recent talks between Thailand and Cambodia over the disputed border around Preah Vihear came to a fruitless end as both sides couldn’t agree on basic names, such as the temple itself (Cambodia calls it Preah Vihear, Thailand wants it called Preah Vihear/Prah Viharn) or even the formal name of the joint patrol teams. Talks rescheduled until April.

No breakthrough at Thai, Cambodia talks
AFP, via ABS-CBN News, 04 February 2009

Thai-Cambodian joint meeting fails to agree on border demarcation, name of ancient temple
Xinhua, 04 February 2009

But as talks opened on Tuesday, the two sides locked horns over what spelling to use for Preah Vihear in documents. Although the World Court has recognised the temple as belonging to Cambodia, Thais call it Phra Viharn.

Speaking Wednesday after the latest talks ended, officials from the neighbours said they had agreed only to set up a working committee to look at the legal border issues and to begin mapping and surveying the disputed zones.

“We tried hard to find solutions in the interests of the two countries. We don’t agree on some points which need to be discussed and clarified,” chief Cambodian negotiator Var Kimhong told reporters.

Vasin Teeravechyan, head of the Thai delegation, said: “There are still some points that cannot be solved right away. We hope to find (solutions) in the next meeting, which will be held in the second week of April in Cambodia.”

“One point is the name of the temple,” he added.


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