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‘No Mission’ Yet to Preah Vihear Temple: Unesco

Unesco has no plans to visit the site of Preah Vihear temple until military tension along the border abates, a representative for the organization said.

Cambodia requested a Unesco team investigate alleged damage to the temple from Thai artillery fire in clashes earlier this month. And while Unesco has agreed to send a team in principle, it is waiting for more calm.

“There is no mission foreseen to the temple site at this point,” said Sue Williams, a spokeswoman for Unesco. “And obviously no mission could take place to the site until hostility has ceased between the two parties.”

Thailand has said it objects to the Unesco mission while military tensions remain.

Williams told VOA Khmer that any visit would have to be done with “full collaboration” from both countries.

Unesco Secretary-General Irina Bokova said in a statement this week she would send an envoy for talks with both Cambodia and Thailand.

Preah Vihear temple’s listing as a Unesco World Heritage site in July 2008 is at the heart of the current military build-up along the border. The listing sparked celebrations in Cambodia and protests in Thailand and remains contentious.