New York, March 10 (ANTARA) - The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has sent a report on the damage of Preah Vihear temple to Indonesia, as the current chair of ASEAN.
"They have submitted the information because they know very well that Indonesia, which is the present chairman of ASEAN, is playing the role as a mediator of the two disputing countries (Cambodia and Thailand), especially following the February 22 agreement (the ASEAN meeting in Jakarta)," Indonesian Permanent Representatives to the United Nations (UN) Ambassador Hasan Kleib said the the UN Headquarters, New York, Wednesday.
UNESCO Special Envoy Koichiro Matsuura gave the information on the damage of the Hindu temple directly to Ambassador Hasan Kleib at the UN Headquarters. Kleib also had a phone conversation with UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova about the disputed temple located in the border between Thailand and Cambodia.
Matsuura recently visited Thailand and Cambodia to discuss about efforts to protect the ancient temple.
The UNESCO special envoy underlined that the purpose of his visit to Thailand and Cambodia was to hear the reports from both sides and he had not expressed his position whether he was for or against any side.
In the meeting with Ambassador Kleib, Matsuura expressed his hope that the temple, which was declared by UNESCO as a site of the World Heritage, be protected.
Kleib responded that ASEAN was very much aware of the importance of maintaining peace in the border area between Cambodia and Thailand so that the two countries could discuss about peaceful solution to problems concerning the disputed border line and the management of Preah Vihear temple.
"However, we told them (UNESCO), that we will not take a position regarding the protection, maintenance, and moreover management of the temple, because it`s fully the affairs of UNESCO and the two countries (Cambodia and Thailand)," Ambassador Hasan Kleib said.
On February 22, 2011, ASEAN foreign ministers held an informal meeting in Jakarta to discuss the armed clash between Cambodia and neighboring Thailand.
In the urgent meeting of ASEAN ministers, Indonesia was requested to send observers to monitor a ceasefire in the affected areas of both sides` border. (ANTARA)