Cambodia gives ultimatum to Laos over 'border invasion'

Cambodia gives ultimatum to Laos over 'border invasion'

Cambodia's prime minister says dozens of soldiers from neighboring Laos have entered Cambodian territory.

Around 30 Laos soldiers have been stationed in Cambodia's northern Stung Treng province since April despite repeated requests by Phnom Penh for them to leave, according to strongman premier Hun Sen.

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.

He made the comments Friday during a speech in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.

"We are friends, but a friend can not step on (our) head", said the mercurial leader, who often leans on ultra-nationalist rhetoric to drum up support, especially ahead of election season.

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"Our biggest success is that there is no dispute that can't be solved", Hun Sen. He said his country does not want a dispute with Laos, but "we can not allow the situation" to continue.

For years Cambodia was locked in a bitter territorial dispute with Thailand over the ancient Preah Vihear temple near their shared border, with 28 people killed in the worst clashes in 2011.

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

Ky Rithy, Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge, issued the verdict on charges of "inciting criminal action and public defamation" on Thursday.

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