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Temple ‘will not be Angkorian’

India's ambassador promised yesterday that the planned construction of a “replica Angkor Wat” in Bihar state will not happen, an official has said.

In yet another chapter of the months-long saga surrounding a proposed project in India said to bear striking similarities to Angkor Wat, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong was reportedly ensured that India would completely halt construction of the temple, though India’s ambassador denied the claim.

According to Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry, outgoing Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik pledged to stop the project during a meeting with Namhong yesterday.

Sounry quoted Namhong as saying: “The ambassador promised to forward this request to the leaders of India, and promised that the construction will never happen.”

But Patnaik said he made no such promise.

“What I said is that India will ensure that the Bihar temple project is not a complete replica of Angkor Wat,” he said.

The Cambodian government petitioned India in June over the controversial temple project, which it insists is a rip-off of Cambodia’s most iconic historical site.

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