Thursday, 10 February 2011

Unesco should not send its team to Preah Vihear temple : Thai FM

via CAAI

By The Nation

Unesco has to ask permission from the Thai side

Thai Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it was not proper for Unesco to send its mission to visit the disputed Preah Vihear Temple.

Ministry's spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said the present situations at the border was still tense.

"It is not an appropriate time for the Unesco's World Heritage Committee to dispatch its mission to visit the temple. The situation along the border is still tense," he said in a press briefing.

Moreover the UN agency has to ask permission from the Thai side to go there, he said.

Unesco planned to a team to visit the disputed Preah Vihear temple along the border between Cambodia and Thailand, where fighting has led to deaths and reportedly damage to the site in recent days.

Cambodia claimed that the temple was damaged by the artillery shells fired by Thai troops.

The temple has been designated a World Heritage site by Unesco.

Unesco Director General Irina Bokova earlier said heritage should unite people and serve as an instrument of dialogue and mutual understanding and not of conflict.

In 1962 the International Court of Justice decided the temple belonged to Cambodia, but failed to rule on a 4.6-square-kilometre plot of land nearby that both countries claim.

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