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Thailand, Cambodia called to solve dispute through dialogue
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China expressed its concern about the ongoing border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia, and hoped the two sides would properly solve the dispute through dialogue, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

Ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the remarks at a regular press conference here.

In July, tensions ran high after the ancient Preah Vihear Temple was awarded world heritage status by UNESCO, angering Thai nationalists who still claim ownership of the site.

The tension later turned into a military stalemate, in which up to 1,000 Cambodian and Thai troops faced off for six weeks. In mid- August, most of the troops withdrew with only a few dozen soldiers stationed near the temple.

Bilateral talks to discuss withdrawing troops from around the temple were postponed in late August amid the domestic political turmoil in Thailand.

Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat said on Tuesday morning his country could not pull out its troops from the disputed border area near Preah Vihear Temple as demanded by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Cambodia is launching a wide ranging diplomatic campaign to solicit international support. It has asked its ambassador to the United Nations to inform the U.N. Security Council about the conflict.

(Xinhua News Agency October 16, 2008)

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