Thailand, Laos pleased with progress on border demarcation

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BANGKOK, Aug 16 – Thailand and Laos have targeted complete inland and riverine demarcations along their common border by 2015 and 2017 respectively, according to Thailand’s deputy prime minister/foreign minister.

Surapong Tovichakchaikul said demarcation of the borders between Thailand and Laos has made great progress since a joint boundary survey was launched on May 6, 2007 and 204 border markers have been planted over a distance of 676 km, covering 96 per cent of total inland demarcation.

Mr Surapong and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith participated in the 9th Thai-Lao Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) meeting yesterday – the first of its kind after a six-year recess.

He hailed the JBC’s success in setting a joint working direction for the ultimate interest of both countries, saying the meeting endorsed planting of 15 more border markers following a joint inland survey along the Thai-Laotian border.

A marine boundary survey in the Mekong River will be conducted after which border markers will be erected but with minimal impact on people of the two countries, he said.

Mr Thongloun expressed appreciation for the  demarcation progress, saying Thai-Lao inland and riverine border stretches 1,810 km and citizens of the two countries have lived in harmony thanks to similarities in race, religion and culture.

The JBC meeting agreed that Thai and Lao technical officials should meet to sort out differences over pending demarcation at Phu Chi Fah in the northern province of Chiang Rai and Phu Jo Ko in the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani, both of which are located on the Thai side of the border.