>Thai FM: Cambodia will register Preah Vihear temple only, prepare new map

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Thailand’s Noppadon (left) shakes hand with Cambodia’s Sok (2nd right) An after the talks in Paris.

BANGKOK, May 24 (TNA) — Cambodia has agreed to register only the ancient Preah Vihear temple ruins themselves as a UNESCO World Heritage site, leaving the surrounding area disputed by Thailand and Cambodia unresolved, and to prepare a new map showing the ruins for consideration by UNESCO and Thailand, Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama said Saturday.

Mr. Noppadon, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officials met in Paris for 10 hours on Thursday. The Thai foreign minister told a press conference that the meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere.

The Cambodian government agreed to limit its registration of the Preah Vihear temple only as a World Heritage site, and would submit new map of temple premises to the Thai government and UNESCO for consideration on June 6.

Thailand supports Cambodia in registering the ancient temple ruins as a World Heritage site, Mr. Noppadon said, indicating that he would forward the outcome of the meeting to Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and related government agencies as soon as possible .

Agreements reached at the meeting were contained in a joint communiqué and must be approved first by both the Thai and Cambodian governments, he said.

The revised map, prepared by the Phnom Penh government and submitted when it applied for registering Preah Vihear as a World Heritage site last year, must be studied again whether it was appropriate, said Mr. Noppadon.

Thailand earlier held that the dispute over the disputed 4.6 sq. km. area adjoining the temple ruins has yet to be settled.

Historically, Thailand and Cambodia have both laid claim to the temple, which sits astride the border in Thailand’s Si Sa Ket, but easy access is only through Thailand.

The World Court ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia. (TNA)-E111

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