Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Thailand, Cambodia to confer on Preah Vihear Tuesday

BANGKOK, May 5 (TNA) - The permanent secretary of the Thai Foreign Ministry will meet with Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister on Tuesday to discuss the overlapping claims to the areas surrounding the Preah Vihear temple of Cambodia, Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama said on Monday.

The meeting between Veerasak Footrakul, the Thai Foreign Ministry's permanent secretary and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An would be held in Cambodia, he said.Mr. Noppadon said the Thai government welcomed the Cambodian government's move to register the temple ancient ruins as a UNESCO World Heritage site. However, the two countries must first settle their divergent views regarding a disputed 4.6 square kilometre area around the temple ruins, so that officials of both countries could jointly manage the area.

Cambodia has asked the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to put the Preah Vihear temple ruins as a World Heritage list. Thailand did not oppose the idea, but argues the area's border issuehas not been settled. UNESCO's stance is that the two neighbours must first settle their differences.

Preah Vihear straddles the border with Cambodia in Kantharalak district of the northeastern province of Si Sa Ket.

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