Sunday, May 29, 2011

New round of temple talks likely[More Siem propaganda and lies]

Thailand and Cambodia will hold more talks over Cambodia's management plan for the disputed 4.6-square-kilometre area around Preah Vihear temple, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti says.

Mr Suwit, who heads the Thai delegation, was speaking after his return from Paris where the two countries met last week but failed to reach agreement over the issue.

The countries met twice for talks on Wednesday and Thursday at a special meeting organised by Unesco in Paris.

Thailand was able to convince Unesco to postpone consideration by the body's World Heritage Committee (WHC) of the issue during the 35th WHC meeting on June 19-29 until border demarcation work is completed. However, it failed to persuade Cambodia.

Cambodia still insists on its right to table the management plan at the meeting. Cambodia's delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An.

Mr Suwit yesterday said another bilateral discussion on the matter would be held before the WHC meeting, when the Preah Vihear management plan is set down for its official review.

The management plan contains a border demarcation map which Thailand believes needs more work.

Postponing the plan would enable more talks on the matter to be held.

Mr Suwit said the Thai-Cambodia Joint Boundary Committee meeting must come up with a conclusion on demarcation work before talks on Cambodia's management plan can proceed.

Mr Suwit said a conclusion on whether to put off consideration of Cambodia's management plan for the disputed area around the Preah Vihear temple has not yet been reached.

Cambodia still wanted Thailand to correct some information that appeared in the document in which Thailand asked to have Cambodia's management plan postponed. He said Cambodia wanted to correct the information by adding the minutes of the previous 34th WHC meeting into the document.

Mr Suwit said there was no need to add the minutes of the meeting into the document as the corrections could lead to problems interpreting the document.

Irina Bokova, director-general of Unesco, did not want the conflict between the countries to escalate and wanted the two sides to hold talks.

Mr Suwit said Thailand had proposed itself as host of the 36th WHC Meeting in 2012. Other countries bidding for the opportunity include Russia and Cambodia

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