A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Reopening entrance to Preah Vihear Temple from Thai side "unnecessary": Cambodian FM

Give our kids a better deal
PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) -- Cambodian foreign ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said Thursday that reopening an entrance to the 11th century Preah Vihear Temple from the Thai side was " unnecessary" since the country has enough infrastructures to serve tourists to this world heritage temple.
"In my own opinion, currently, a lot of tourists have visited the temple from Cambodia because of good roads and luxurious hotels in the surrounding area of the temple," he told reporters after a meeting between Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and his visiting Thai counterpart Tanasak Patimapragorn.
"Therefore, I think that it is unnecessary to allow tourists to access the temple from the Thai side."
The spokesman's remarks came after the Bangkok Post online reported Thursday that Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will discuss with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen the possibility of developing the Preah Vihear Temple as a joint tourist destination during his visit to Cambodia on Oct. 30-31.
"Tourists could be able to enter the temple from both sides, but we have to discuss the plans first," Prayut was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying on the eve of his visit to Phnom Penh.
After border conflicts between Thailand and Cambodia erupted in 2009 - resulting in deadly clashes - Cambodia closed the entrance to the temple on the Thai side.

Cambodia and Thailand have not settled their dispute over a 4.6 square km piece of land next to the Preah Vihear Temple.
The Hague-based International Court of Justice ruled in November last year that Cambodia had sovereignty over the whole territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear Temple, and ordered Thailand to withdraw its armed forces from that territory.
So far, the two countries have not started talks over the implementation of the court's ruling.

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