Thai team in UK to prepare temple dispute defence

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BANGKOK, Feb 6 – Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana left for London today to meet with legal consultants for preparations for the country’s oral statement before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in April in the Thai defence of the Preah Vihear temple dispute between Thailand and Cambodia.

He ruled out negotiation with Cambodian to settle the case, saying a final ruling rests with the ICJ while both conflicting parties will have to do their best.

Thailand and Cambodia are required to present their oral statements to the court in April in defence of ownership of a 4.6 km tract of land surrounding Preah Vihear temple. An ICJ verdict is scheduled for October.

Mr Phongthep said Thailand has already submitted written documents to the court while further explanations of each point in the documents will be made during the oral presentation.

The deputy prime minister was accompanied by the Foreign Ministry’s legal team and representatives of the Office of the Attorney General and the Council of State.