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Cambodia holds troop withdrawal ceremony at border temple
Publication Date : 18-07-2012
Cambodia yesterday held a troop withdrawal ceremony at the border presided over by Defence Minister Tea Banh.
The withdrawal of 485 troops from around the Preah Vihear Temple (northeast Thailand) followed a meeting between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in Siem Reap last Friday.
The Office of the Council of Ministers said the government decided to withdraw troops from the Provisional Demilitarised Zone in accordance with a ruling by the International Court of Justice in July last year.
In the first step, troops will be pulled back from Chon Der Neak (Dragon Stair) Market, the North and West Ancient Stairs and from Keo Sikha Kiri Svara temple. The troops will be replaced by 355 police and security guards.
At the same time, Cambodia is celebrating the fourth anniversary of Preah Vihear Temple being recognised as a World Heritage site.
In addition to Tea Banh, Preah Vihear National Authority Chairman Choch Phoeun was attending the ceremony along with General Neang Phat, General Chea Da and Major General Kheng Someth.
The ceremony was scheduled to conclude around 11:00am with the release of doves and balloons.
Thai troops occupied Preah Vihear Temple four years ago, leading to the closure of the local border crossing and a series of deadly clashes between the two sides.