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10PHNOMPENH89 CAMBODIA SEEKS SUPPORT FOR PREAH VIHEAR INTERNATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE, AGREES TO INVITE THAILAND

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“247402”,”2/5/2010 9:42″,”10PHNOMPENH89″,

“Embassy Phnom Penh”,”UNCLASSIFIED”,””,”VZCZCXRO7371

PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH

DE RUEHPF #0089/01 0360942

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

P 050942Z FEB 10

FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1648

INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0735″,

“UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PHNOM PENH 000089

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FRO EAP/MLS, IO

PARIS PLEASE PASS TO US MISSION TO UNESCO –

AMBASSADOR KILLION

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL, KTIA, SCUL, UNESCO, DB

SUBJECT: CAMBODIA SEEKS SUPPORT FOR PREAH VIHEAR INTERNATIONAL

COORDINATING COMMITTEE, AGREES TO INVITE THAILAND

 

1. ACTION REQUEST IN PARA 9.

 

2. SUMMARY: During a meeting designed to brief Ambassadors from

seven nations on the status of the World Heritage site of Preah

Vihear, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An welcomed their participation in

an International Coordinating Committee (ICC) to help guide the

planning for the restoration and management of the site. The DPM

noted that Thailand would also be invited, as required by UNESCO in

the World Heritage inscription documents. He expects the

discussions to be \”peaceful and friendly\” and said that Cambodia is

\”seeking cooperation.\” END SUMMARY

 

3. In a meeting that included Ambassadors and representatives from

the United States, India, Australia, France, China, Belgium, Japan,

and UNESCO, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An proposed to convene an ICC

for the recently inscribed World Heritage site of Preah Vihear, and

advised that all countries present plus Thailand would be invited to

participate. The Belgian Ambassador (resident in Bangkok) welcomed

the proposal and stated his desire to see the ICC convened before

the next World Heritage Committee meeting scheduled for July of this

year in Brasilia. The UNESCO representative advised that the UNESCO

SYG is informed on this issue and hoped to attend the first session

of the Preah Vihear ICC.

 

4. The invitation to participate in an ICC came after an extensive

briefing by Cambodian and UNESCO representatives on developments at

the site since the UNESCO listing by Chuch Poeurn, head of the newly

established Preah Vihear authority and dean of the faculty of

archeology at the Royal University of Fine Arts and Philippe

deLonghe, an archeologist working for UNESCO. DeLonghe\’s briefing

emphasized uniqueness of Preah Vihear as a site that was largely

\”untouched\” at the time of its listing, and touched on the fact that

work done since 2006 at the site had \”completely changed\” the

experts\’ understanding of the site. A professional site management

plan has been developed and submitted to UNESCO, fulfilling a

requirement of the World Heritage listing. The site management plan

was written by Divay Gupta, an Indian specialist in architectural

conservation and heritage management; the team that developed it

included archeologists, engineers and architects from France,

Belgium, and Cambodia, as well as a former US Park Service senior

park planner.

 

5. The establishment of an ICC was the second UNESCO requirement

after the inscription of the site in July of 2008. The original

text of the document required that the ICC be convened by February

of 2010 and that the committee include no more than seven countries.

UNESCO also specified that Thailand should be invited to

participate. The formation of the ICC has been delayed due to the

ongoing border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia on the area

surrounding the Preah Vihear temple. Another ICC which focuses on

the management of the Angkor Wat temple complex has been highly

successful and Cambodia and UNESCO seek to model the Preah Vihear

version on the Angkor Wat example.

 

6. After the briefing and informal invitation to join the ICC,

several Ambassadors inquired about security at the site. DPM Sok An

assured the group that any recent violence in the border area has

been in isolated areas far from the site of the temple and that

increasing numbers of tourists are already visiting the site from

the Cambodian side. He advised that he would issue a formal

invitation to form the ICC as soon as possible.

 

7. DPM Sok An stated that he had approached the seven countries

present at the meeting as they had contributed experts to the team

which made formal recommendations on the site or had long histories

of collaboration with Cambodia through the Angkor Wat ICC. It is

expected that they would provide similar support for a Preah Vihear

ICC.

 

8. COMMENT: In several previous discussions about the Preah Vihear

ICC with the Ambassdor, DPM Sok An had resisted the idea of inviting

Thailand to participate, citing the 2008 \”incursion\” of Thai troops

along the disputed border and pointing to \”uncooperative\” behavior

on the part of the Thai during their participation in the Angkor Wat

ICC. However, during this briefing he reiterated many times the

government\’s decision to invite Thailand. Several Ambassadors

probed on this point and he appeared resolute. There was

considerable enthusiasm on the part of the attendees for

participation, although all indicated a need to seek formal

instructions once the actual invitations had been issued. END

COMMENT.

 

9. ACTION REQUEST: Although a formal request has not yet been

prepared, DPM Sok An would like an indication of US willingness to

participate in the Preah Vihear ICC. When DPM Sok An has raised

this in previous discussions, Ambassador has always responded that

the US would probably look favorably on a request to join the Preah

 

PHNOM PENH 00000089 002 OF 002

 

Vihear ICC as long as Thailand was also invited to join. Post

requests guidance on responding to Cambodia\’s request for our

participation in the ICC.

 

RODLEY

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Written by thaicables

July 22, 2011 at 9:45 am

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