A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 16 October 2008

UN asks Thailand, Combodia to expedite peace talks

United Nations (PTI): Expressing concern over the exchange of fire along the Thai-Combodian border, the United Nations has asked both the neighbours to expedite talks to resolve differences.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed "deep concern" over Wednesday's gunfire between the soldiers of the two countries near a disputed ancient temple.

"He calls on both parties to exercise utmost restraint and urges them to expedite bilateral talks so that their differences can be resolved peacefully," Ban's spokesperson said.

Media reports say two people were killed during the exchange of fire between Thai and Cambodian soldiers near the Preah Vihear Temple, which was enlisted among the World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in July.

Since then the military forces have been build-up from both sides along the border. Ban had called for restraint earlier also.

The 11th century temple was recognised by the World Heritage Committee for "its natural situation on a promontory, with sheer cliffs overlooking a vast plain and mountain range; the quality of its architecture adapted to natural environment and religious function of the temple and finally the exceptional quality of the carved stone ornamentation of the temple."

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