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Preah Vihear temple group to meet

A year after the United Nations’ top court ruled that Cambodia had sovereignty over the territory of Preah Vihear temple, the first-ever International Coordination Committee (ICC) to oversee the management of the sacred site is preparing to have its inaugural meeting.

Last November, the International Court of Justice in the Hague ended a legal battle over the hotly contested vicinity around the temple, ruling that it largely belonged to Cambodia.

According to Philippe Delanghe, culture specialist at UNESCO Cambodia, the ICC will assist Cambodia with the “safeguarding and development” of the temple, which was declared a World Heritage site in 2008.

Delanghe said that the government requested that India and the Kingdom’s influential ally China co-chair the committee.

During the ICC’s first meeting on Wednesday, Delanghe said, “presentations will be made and discussions will be held on the conservation and management of the monument”.

Chinese Embassy spokesman Cheng Hong Bo told the Post this week that Hao Ping, vice minister of education, and president of UNESCO’s General Conference, will represent China in the committee.

The Post could not confirm who will represent India, but media there has speculated that the culture secretary or the director general of the Archaeological Survey of India will take up the role.

Officials at the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not be reached.

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