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IS PM Abhisit trying to pull a fast one? He announces that a delay in the official registration of the Preah Vihear temple will give Cambodia and Thailand time to resolve their conflict. Conveniently, the Unesco committee says that the formal registration of the site is to be pushed to next February because it has yet to finish matters at its end. But it sounds like Thailand is implicitly claiming that they have somehow caused the delay to happen – a move probably designed to placate the feelings that have run high over the matter and save face for not having their protest heard in Seville last week. Of course, I could just be reading too much into this short piece of news.

Thai PM says delayed Preah Vihear temple World Heritage Site registration could solve problems

MCOT, 30 June 2009

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Tuesday he believes a delay in registering ancient Preah Vihear temple on the Thai-Cambodian border as a World Heritage Site could allow the two countries to be able to solve other border problems.

Mr. Abhisit told journalists that Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Suwit Khunkitti had briefed Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, held earlier in the day, on his attending the World Heritage Committee meeting held in Seville, Spain between June 22-30, and that he had handed a letter to the Committee that comprised a Thai government request to review Cambodia’s unilateral application for the historic temple to be listed as a World Heritage Site.

UNESCO agreed at the Seville meeting to delay the formal registration of the temple as a World Heritage Site until next February as the organization still has a number of other matters to implement, Mr. Abhisit said.

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