Interior Minister would like political groups protesting over Phar Viharn Temple to engage in peaceful discussions

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BANGKOK, 17 November 2013 The Minister of Interior wants Thai people to hold peaceful dialogue over the Phra Viharn Temple dispute, in order to help develop the area into a World Heritage site. 

Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan gave an interview after inspecting border areas in Sisaket and Surin provinces. Since the ICJ rendered its rulings on the ancient temple last week, people living along the Thai-Cambodian border have been more confident in the situation and do not believe that there will be more fresh violence. Thai-Cambodian relations at the government and local personnel levels have improved, according to the Minister.

Both governments will conduct negotiations and establish working groups at various levels to create cooperation to peacefully solve problems and develop the area into a World Heritage site and tourism attraction ahead of the AEC.

The Minister added that Certain ultra-nationalist groups who have been using claims of the loss of sovereign territory as the rationale behind their political protests should instead help promote peaceful negotiations between the two nations. This will lead to the development of the Phra Viharn Temple into a World Heritage site, which will create benefits for citizens of both nations.