Saturday, 26 February 2011

UNESCO admits management plan for Preah Vihear Temple difficult: Thai FM

via CAAI

BANGKOK, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said on Friday after talks between Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and UNESCO special envoy that the UNESCO delegation admitted it was difficult to carry on management plan for Preah Vihear Temple.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) special envoy on Preah Vihear temple, Koichiro Matsuura, arrived in Bangkok on Thursday night and had discussions with Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya at around 3:30 p.m. before going to meet with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at 5 p. m..

Matsuura, former director-general of UNESCO (1999-2009) and former chairman of the World Heritage Committee (1999), was appointed by Director-general Irina Bokova to discuss with Thailand and Cambodia measures to safeguard the temple, which was listed as a World Heritage site in 2008.

According to Thani, Kasit had explained to the envoy Thai- Cambodian relationships as well as close cultural and historical relations between the two countries.

The foreign minister also insisted that Thailand should continue seeking solutions on border issue through existing bilateral frameworks including Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) and General Border Committee, the ministry spokesman said.

Kasit also explained how the listing of the Hindu temple has so far complicated the issue while border demarcation has not yet been completed.

The three-member UNESCO delegation will fly to Phnom Penh on Sunday for talks with Cambodian officials on ways of reducing tension and promoting dialogue around the preservation of the temple.

The deadly border-clashes between Thailand and Cambodia during Feb. 4-7 has caused slight damage to the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple.

The UNESCO issued a statement early this week, saying that the "temple was inscribed on the World Heritage List for its outstanding universal value in keeping with the 1972 World Heritage Convention, which has been ratified by both Cambodia and Thailand."

Editor: Fang Yang

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