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Preah Vihear plan set for UNESCO review

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee was expected to begin considering Cambodia’s management plan for the Preah Vihear temple late yesterday during the 10-day Paris summit, an official said yesterday.

“Cambodia’s delegation will meet tonight with UNESCO’s WHC, and we are not surprised even if Thailand refuses to accept the Preah Vihear management plan,” Phay Siphan, a spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said.

Thailand has asked the WHC to delay consideration of the conservation plan until an adjacent border dispute has been settled. Cambodia has so far refused to defer consideration of the proposal.

Phay Siphan said the plan included a variety of conservation and infrastructure efforts, such as repairing and protecting stairs on the eastern side of the 11th-century temple.

Cambodia has said the Hindu temple was damaged by Thai artillery shells and bull-ets during four days of heavy fighting in February that left at least 10 people dead.

Thailand, meanwhile, has accused Cambodia of violating international agreements by stationing troops at the Preah Vihear temple.

The neighbouring kingdoms have also entered competing bids to host next year’s WHC summit meeting.

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