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Thai govt to discuss Khmer threat this afternoon

Thai FM says he was surprised about Cambodia's threat because Cambodia PM appeared to have no problem on border talk

Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat will chair an urgent meeting this afternoon to discuss about Cambodia's threat to start war if Thailand did not evacuate its troops from an area near the Preah Vihear Temple.

Somchai said commander in chiefs are meeting to look into details and information of the matters.

He reiterated that it is not possible for the Thai troops to withdraw from the area. "It is like you are asked to retreat from your own house," he said.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has threatened to start fighting if Thailand failed to evacuate its 81 troops from the Veal Intry area near the Preah Vihear Temple on Cambodian soil within 24 hours.

"The meeting of officials concerned on the matters will be held at 2pm," Somchai said.

Hun Sen issued the threat after Thai Foreign Minister Sompong Amornwiwat met with his Khmer counterpart; Hor Nam Hong, in Phnom Penh to discuss about border controversies.

Somchai quoted Sompong as saying that he was surprised that Hun Sen made such a threat after the meeting. "During the meeting, Prime Minister Hun Sen  seemed to have no problems on the matters. It was surprising that he came out of the meeting room to say that," Sompong said.

Sompong told the meeting in Phnom Penh that Thailand will not have any problem to withdraw if Cambodia did the same to avoid any confrontation.

Asked whether he will telephone Hun Sen about the issue, Somchai said he will look into details and surrounding circumstances before deciding the next step.

According to Xinhua news agency, Hun Sen said after meeting with Sompong on Monday, "The Veal Intry area is the dead or alive point for us."

"The situation at the Veal Intry area is too hot. They have to remove tonight or tomorrow. If they don't remove from the Veal Intry area, war will be waged," he said.

"They entered there (Monday morning) and are deploying and camping their tents about 30 meters from our soldiers. They said they stay here only one day," he said.

"Cambodia still keep our maximum restraints and won't mind if they go back to their own stronghold," he said.

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