On 3 March 2011, Mr. Thani Thongphakdi, Director-General of Department of Information and Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, responded to media enquiries regarding news reports that the Cambodian Prime Minister’s spokesperson had quoted Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Special Envoy, as saying that “Thailand has intention to ask UNESCO to de-list the Temple of Phra Viharn,” as follows:
1. The issue of de-listing of the Temple of Phra Viharn was neither raised by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva nor by Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya during their respective meetings with the UNESCO Special Envoy on 25 February 2011. In fact, when the UNESCO Special Envoy himself mentioned this issue, Prime Minister Abhisit responded that “no one is talking about de-listing”. In addition, after his meeting with the UNESCO Special Envoy, the Prime Minister also stated publicly to the media that Thailand recognized Phra Viharn Temple’s outstanding universal value as an important archaeological site that should be open to visitors from around the world.
2. Thailand’s position towards the inscription of the Temple of Phra Viharn is a matter of public record, namely, as long as the boundary issue remains, other activities regarding the Temple of Phra Viharn should be postponed, including the consideration of the management plan, until the boundary negotiation under the Thai-Cambodian Commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC) is concluded as to create a conducive environment for a durable solution.
3. Thailand reaffirms its readiness to fully cooperate with Cambodia and the international community in finding a mutually satisfactory solution regarding the Temple of Phra Viharn issue. In this regard, during his meeting with the UNESCO Special Envoy, Prime Minister Abhisit reiterated that Thailand had extended an invitation to Mr. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, to visit Thailand to discuss pending issues with the relevant Thai authorities at the earliest opportunity. The UNESCO Special Envoy expressed his strong support for both countries to continue their bilateral dialogue.