Friday, 26 June 2009

Cambodian PM refuses to talk with Thai DPM on Preah Vihear temple

People's Daily Online

June 25, 2009

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Thursday that he had no plans to talk about the issue of the listing of Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage Site with visiting Thailand's deputy prime minister.

"I will not listen to him on the case of clarification of jointly development and jointly registering of Preah Vihear temple, but if he talks about withdrawal of Thai troops from our soil, we can talk and welcome him," Hun Sen said at a graduation ceremony of a University in Phnom Penh.

The premier announced that Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva "is sending Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Taugsuban to meet me on Saturday in unofficial visit to clarify about the stance of Thailand on 11 century Preah Vihear temple."

"This is my message for him before he decides to visit Cambodia," Hun Sen said, adding that Preah Vihear temple belongs to Cambodia according to verdict of Hague Court (international court) in 1962. Thailand is not co-ownership of that property.

He also stressed that Preah Vihear temple is humanitarian heritage now. "We need the situation at areas near Preah Vihear temple return to prior to July 15, 2008."

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban told Thai media on Tuesday that he will visit Cambodia Saturday on a mission to clarify Thailand's objection to the listing of Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage Site.

Thai deputy premier will be accompanied by Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and other members of the Thai government.

The temple was listed in July 2008 as the World Heritage site, promoting an escalation of tensions between Cambodia and Thailand and a troop buildup along the border. Thailand has long sought the joint listing of the site.

According to Thai media report, Prime Minister Abhisit would request that UNESCO's World Heritage Committee review last year's decision to register Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage Site when the body convenes its annual meeting at the meeting in Spain, and he would request that the temple be registered jointly as a World Heritage Site by Thailand and Cambodia.

Local newspaper on Thursday quoted Cambodian officials as saying that UNESCO has refused to hear a complaint by Thailand over Preah Vihear temple's listing as a World Heritage Site at the annual meeting of its World Heritage Committee in Seville, Spain.

Source: Xinhua

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