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Monday, May 12, 2008

Preah Vihear issue unsettled

Thailand had asked Cambodia for a free meal party. It is a quit dream, but if a monkey want a free banana, it should be eating in a bird cage.


Thailand may ask UNESCO to again postpone its decision on the registration of the ancient ruins at Preah Vihear as a World Heritage site this year if it is unable to convince Cambodia to settle the land dispute through joint management, Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama said yesterday.

Cambodia had ignored the joint management proposal for the overlapping area around the ancient ruins, which covers 4.6 square kilometres, and had lobbied hard for the registration of Preah Vihear, which will be considered at a UNESCO meeting in Quebec in July.

However, Mr Noppadon told a radio programme yesterday morning that he hoped Cambodia would consider the Thai proposal or Bangkok will ask for a postponement. Last year UNESCO delayed making a decision, pending agreement between the two sides.

Mr Noppadon said the Preah Vihear issue was sensitive as the registration is to take place at the same time as the general election in Cambodia.

The minister said it was necessary for both countries to negotiate through diplomatic channels, and added that he planned to raise the issue with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen tomorrow when he meets him in Hong Kong.

Cambodian Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh criticised the move by Thailand to link the Preah Vihear issue to the overlapping areas for offshore oil exploration.

''If we solve the Preah Vihear case, then we also solve the overlapping zone offshore. They're completely different things, the minister told the Cambodia Daily newspaper.

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