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Thai PM Gives Preah Vihear Support

Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said Tuesday Thailand will not oppose Cambodia's proposal to include Preah Vihear temple as a Unesco World Heritage Site, a government spokesman said, quelling a debate that has been simmering for months.

"At the last minute of the meeting, Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej reconfirmed that Thailand will not oppose Cambodia's attempt to put Preah Vihear temple onto the World Heritage list, but Samak requested the Cambodian side not affect the border problem," spokesman Khieu Kanharith told reporters, following a 1.5-hour meeting between Samak and Prime Minister Hun Sen Monday. "This is Thailand's official stance."

Thai Embassy First Secretary Chaturong Chaiyakam referred questions over the meeting to Khieu Kanharith.

Preah Vihear temple, on the northern border with Thailand, is built on top of Dang Rek mountain and is a potential tourist attraction. Its position on the Thai border has put its ownership in question in the past, and Cambodian and Thailand have had trouble agreeing on who should submit the temple to Unesco for World Heritage protection.

Hun Sen told Samak that Cambodia would not surround the temple with entertainment or cause a border conflict, Khieu Kanharith said.

"We put the frame of the temple onto the list," he said. "We won't affect the border problem."

Unesco could put the temple into the World Heritage List in Canada in June, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said Monday.