A Change of Guard

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Sunday 8 August 2010

Cambodia says Thai demands for joint listing of temple is "out of date"

August 07, 2010
Source: Xinhua

Cambodian government said Friday that Thailand's demand for joint listing of Preah Vihear Temple is "out of date".

Hor Namhong, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, told reporters at a news conference on Friday that a demand suggested by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on a joint listing of Preah Vihear Temple as World Heritage Site was "out of date" and that was only "Abhisit's dream".

Hor Namhong's remarks were in response to media report that quoted Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva as saying a joint World Heritage listing of Preah Vihear and its adjacent compound - claimed by both Thailand and Cambodia - was the "best and smoothest path to take" to end conflict over Cambodia's controversial management plan for the ancient Khmer temple.

Hor Namhong said Thailand had "no real intention" to end the conflict at which during the past meetings, Thailand still even claimed a simple name of the temple as Preah Viharn, instead of original name as Preah Vihear that was built by Cambodians in 11th century, the name that was officially spelled out in convention 1904 and treaty in 1907 and the name that was called at the international court's ruling in 1962.

However, Hor reiterated that Cambodia hopes to solve the issue peacefully with Thailand through negotiation and dialogue.

The border conflict came just one week after Cambodia's Preah Vihear Temple was registered as World Heritage Site in July 2008.

And over the past days, Cambodia and Thailand have exchanged war of words concerning who won at the recent UNESCO's meeting in Brazil on the conservation and management plan submitted by Cambodian side over the world cultural heritage site.

Cambodia was due to present its progress report on the conservation and management plan of the Preah Vihear Temple to UNESCO's committee for World Heritage, but that was opposed by the Thai side, saying that to be done only after the border issues between the two nations have been finalized.

However, UNESCO accepted the report but suggested it to be examined next year in Bahrain.

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