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Preah Vihear Temple Bound for Heritage Status: Expert

Even a dispute with Thailand on border overlap areas will not stop Preah Vihear temple from gaining protection as a Unesco World Heritage site, an expert said Monday.

“Preah Vihear will be on the World Heritage list, and disputes of the overlapping area will continue to be resolved between Cambodia and Thailand,” said Ros Chantrabot, vice president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia. “We should make a distinction and should not confuse” the two issues.

Both Thailand and Cambodia claim territory around the temple, which perches on a clifftop on a disputed border area.

“Many Thais still claim that Preah Vihear belongs to Thailand,” Ros Chantrabot said. “But we have to find a way to tell them that Preah Vihear is the heritage of the Khmer.”

World courts have overruled Thai claims to the temple, he said. Meanwhile, discussions over the borders continue.