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Laos says it will withdraw troops as Cambodia's Hun Sen visits

From Reuters - August 11, 2017

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia and Laos reached an agreement on Saturday for Lao soldiers to pull back from their shared border after Cambodia accused Laos of sending troops into its territory, the leaders of both countries said.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday dispatched forces to the border and issued an ultimatum for Laos to withdraw the soldiers by Thursday.

The Cambodian strongman flew to Vientiane on Saturday to hold urgent talks with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

In a news conference after the meeting, broadcast live on Hun Sen's Facebook page with simultaneous translation into Khmer, the Lao leader said he had ordered the withdrawal.

"I have ordered the authorities involved to withdraw troops from that area by tomorrow morning," Thongloun Sisoulith said.

Thongloun said he was sorry he had not responded to an Aug. 2 letter from Hun Sen seeking withdrawal of the troops.

"Anyway, the discussion today was frank and friendly, so that the area would not lead to forces being confrontational," he said.

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