>Move to block cambodia’s temple proposal likely to fail: Army


By Piyanart Srivalo
The Nation
Published on May 8, 2008

A move to block Cambodia’s proposal to list Preah Vihear temple as a United Nations World Heritage Site will probably fail as the government in Phnom Penh has managed to lobby at least 21 countries to take its side, a military source said yesterday.
A meeting between senior officials led by Foreign Ministry permanent secretary Virasakdi Futrakul and Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sok An over the last two days has been “useless” since Phnom Penh has already achieved its goal, the source said.
Thailand had delayed the United Nations Educational, Science and Culture Organisation’s decision to list the ancient Hindu temple as a World Heritage Site after Cambodia proposed the temple area along with the annexation of some 4.6 square kilometres of overlapping area, claimed by both sides.
The temple belongs to Cambodia according to a ruling by the International Court of Justice in 1962, but the land below the hill-top temple claimed by the two countries remained unclear and the both sides agreed not to make any changes before the boundary demarcation was settled.
The listing of Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site has nothing to do with national sovereignty, but if the area were annexed into part of the temple, Thailand would de facto lose the area, the military source said.
The Foreign Ministry proposed to Cambodia the establishment of a joint body to run the overlapping area before listing the temple as a World Heritage Site.
The two countries have not yet reached any common ground on the idea.
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