Cambodia last week gave Thailand a clarified proposal regarding the area surrounding the Preah Vihear temple to be included with its inscription as a UN World Heritage Site, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said Sunday.
Along with the actual temple, perched atop a cliff on the Thai border, Cambodia will ask the World Heritage Committee to designate a 30-meter perimeter around the temple as part of a World Heritage Site, Phay Siphan said by telephone.
Thai officials may have misunderstood the previous proposal of the area Cambodia hopes to have inscribed this July at the 32nd session of the World Heritage Committee, said Phay Siphan, as the previous drawing included plans for developing the area for tourism.
This may have led some to believe that Cambodia wanted to tinker with the undemarcated border in the area, he said.
“For this moment, for this time, to comply with the World Heritage List, we indicated clearly the perimeter of the temple,” he said.
“We’re not talking about a borderline or anything, because the forum is a cultural forum only,” he added.
In 1962, the International Court of Justice found that the temple lay within Cambodia. But Thailand has expressed concern that areas in Cambodia’s original proposal included border territory still in dispute between the two countries.
Thailand’s National Security Council is expected to review Cambodia’s new proposal map today, the Bangkok Post reported Saturday.
“We have reached a stage where both sides can break the deadlock without losing any territory,” Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama was quoted as saying in the Bangkok Post.
With World Heritage Site recognition, restoration of the crumbling temple can begin with international funding, Phay Siphan said.
“That’s why everyone rushes to put their site on the World Heritage list,” he said. The temple “needs urgent attention.”
Phay Siphan said Cambodia’s next step is to send the Preah Vihear proposal to the World Heritage Committee by Sunday.