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Pattaya Daily News

26 June 2009 :: 15:06:33 pm 36304

Thai Deputy Pm Confirms Cambodia Visit on Saturday

BANGKOK, June 26 - Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban on Friday said he would go to Cambodia on Saturday as planned on a mission to clarify Thailand‘s objection to the listing of the Preah Vihear temple ruins as a World Heritage Site to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
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Mr. Suthep confirmed his planned trip after foreign media reportedl the Cambodian officials would not talk with Thai officials on the issue.

The deputy prime minister said his trip would not be postponed or cancelled as the visit would focus on the Preah Vihear temple issue and also aimed to strengthen bilateral ties between Thailand and Cambodia.

The trip was aimed to stave off any misunderstanding on the Preah Vihear issue between the two neighbouring countries, he said, adding that his visit would definitely not escalate the conflict between the two nations.

He said Thailand and Cambodia had shared common stance to avoid border conflicts and that the issue at the moment was not between Thailand and Cambodia, but Thailand and United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Heritage Committee.

The UNESCO agreed to register Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site under the aegis of Cambodia in July last year.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said earlier the government would ask UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to review its July 2008 decision to register Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site when the panel met earlier this week in Spain.

He would also propose that the temple be registered jointly as a World Heritage Site by Thailand and Cambodia, not unilaterally by Cambodia.

Mr. Suthep said he hoped that after the meeting, Mr. Hun Sen would better understand Thailand’s stance.

Meanwhile, Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Anupong Paochinda said he had just visited the Thai-Cambodian border at Si Sa Ket province earlier this week to give moral support to the military personnel stationed there.

He said the general situation was considered normal, that there was no military confrontation between the two sides, and that there was no sign that the situation would turn to violence.

Gen. Anupong said he could affirm that there were continued talks at the local commander level to avoid misunderstanding.

However, he added that the army would not be careless and would not initiate any violence.

In 1962 the International Court of Justice ruled that Preah Vihear belongs to Cambodia, but the most accessible entrance begins at the foot of a mountain in Thailand, and both sides claim overlapping portions of the surrounding territory.

Armed clashes between the two countries military forces have occurred periodically since then, near the temple, especially in a 4.6-square-kilometre disputed area. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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