BANGKOK, Feb 12 (Bernama) -- Thai Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti is scheduled to visit France next week to meet the secretary-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the director-general of the World Heritage Centre under UNESCO in Paris to explain border rows between Thailand and Cambodia related to the ancient Preah Vihear Temple, a world heritage site, to the UN authorities.
Suwit said on Saturday he would clarify before the UNESCO authorities that Thailand did not invade Cambodia, and that a spate of clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops along the border near the Preah Vihear Temple were, instead, Thailand's attempts to protect national sovereignty, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.
Suwit revealed that Thailand will also seek a review of the World Heritage Committee's listing of the Preah Vihear Temple for Cambodia, as Thailand has maintained its opposition to the unilateral listing based on the fact that the 11th century temple stands on an unsettled area of Thailand and Cambodia and that a world heritage site management plan proposed by Cambodia covers its vicinity which includes Thai territory.
The Thai minister said that Thailand will, therefore, ask the World Heritage Committee, at its next meeting in Bahrain in June this year, to postpone its consideration of the Cambodian management plan until Thailand and Cambodia conclude their border re-demarcation.
Suwit has met parties concerned in Thailand, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Royal Thai Survey Department, the Fine Arts Department and the Thai World Heritage Committee to gather information in preparation for his trip to Paris next week.