via Khmer NZ
PHUKET, July 31 -- Thai Foreign Affairs Minister Kasit Piromya said Saturday that the decision by the UN cultural agency to postpone reviewing Cambodia’s development plan for the area adjacent to the ancient Preah Vihear temple by one year to 2011 did not represent either Thailand or Cambodia winning or losing.
Mr Kasit responded to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An’s earlier remarks that Cambodia achieved its goal when UNESCO’s World Heritage Commission (WHC) agreed Thursday at its meeting in Brazil to consider its management plan for the Phra Vihear temple, listed as a World Heritage site.
But the WHC deferred its discussion on the issue to its meeting in Bahrain next year.
“Neither country wins on the issue. What he [Sok An] said Cambodia had won was [not correct]," Mr Kasit said, explaining that he did not understand why Mr Sok An, who led the Cambodian delegation to the Brasilia committee meeting, made such an announcement.
The WHC decided to defer its consideration of the matter for another year to enable the neighbouring countries to settle their differences regarding the disputed territory around Preah Vihear first, he said.
The International Court of Justice in 1962 ruled that the temple belongs to Cambodia. For Thailand the issue worsened on July 7, 2008, when Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Under the terms of the listing, Cambodia is required to submit a management plan for WHC approval.
Vasin Teeravechyan, an adviser to the Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry and also chairman of the Thai side on the Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission (JBC), said there has been no progress since the commission's last meeting because of differences in referring to the historic temple, the Cambodia and the United Nations referring to it in Cambodian, while the Thais wish to refer to it in Thai.
The Thais call the 11th century temple as ‘Phra Viharn’ while the Cambodians call it ‘Preah Vihear.’
The differences between Cambodia and Thailand in describing the temple is still under consideration by Parliament, said Mr Vasin. The JBC meeting could resume once a settlement on the name is reached.
Regarding the WHC decision to consider Cambodia’s management plan for the temple environs for another year, Mr Vasin said the decision would not have any effect -- positive or negative -- on the border demarcation as border talks are difficult by nature, but the pressure is rather from “within Thailand as people have different views on Preah Vihear temple.” (MCOT online news)