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Thai Leader Defends Leaving United Nations Heritage Site Body
In this photo taken Thursday, June 23, 2011, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva addresses a campaign rally for his Democrat Party in Bangkok, Thailand. On Sunday, June 26, 2011, Abhisit defended his country's decision to quit the U.N.'s World Heritage Convention, saying its consideration of a Cambodian plan to manage the Preah Vihear temple on the border with Thailand would increase tensions between the two neighbors. AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit.


BANGKOK (AP).- Thailand's prime minister is defending his country's decision to quit the U.N.'s World Heritage Convention. Abhisit Vejjajiva says the group's consideration of a Cambodian plan to manage a protected temple on Thailand's border would increase tensions.

Abhisit said Sunday it didn't make sense for Cambodia to unilaterally offer a plan for managing the Preah Vihear temple site, which is mostly easily accessible through land under dispute by both countries.

Some 20 people have died in attacks in the area surrounding the temple since 2008, when the site received World Heritage status over Thailand's objections.

Thailand announced its withdrawal from the convention at a meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Paris Saturday.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.





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