Russian Federation to Help Safeguard Preah Vihear

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Russia plans to join the International Coordinator Committee to safeguard and develop the Preah Vihear historical site, an official confirmed yesterday.
After a public lecture by Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) lawmaker Sous Yara in Preah Vihear province on Wednesday at Cambodian Institute for Strategic Studies, Mr. Yara confirmed Russia’s commitment to Khmer Times.
Dmitry Tsvetkov, the Ambassador of the Russia Federation to Cambodia, told Mr. Yara that his country would like to join the International Coordinator Committee for Preah Vihear (ICC-PV).
“At the moment, H.E. the Ambassador of Russia confirmed that he will report to his government [and ask] to join this ICC,” he said.
“He will ask to join, and that it be done on time. Russia will join as a member of the ICC-PV during Prime Minister Hun Sen’s official visit [to Russia] in the coming months,” Mr. Yara added.
Although China and India are co-chairs of the ICC-PV, whose founding members include Belgium, Cambodia, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and the US, Cambodia has been waiting to receive word about whether Russia and the United Kingdom will join, Mr. Yara said.
He added that Russia has many experts who will be beneficial to the ICC-PV.
“Their contributions will provide expertise for our cultural and tourism potential,” Mr. Yara said.
The Preah Vihear temple should be looked at in four ways, Mr. Yara added. First as a cultural gateway to the Mekong countries. Second as a model of peace and development and cross-border cooperation. Third as a pilot model for the implementation of the new UN new goals for sustainable development. And lastly as a demonstration of cultural diplomacy.
The ICC-PV was formed in 2014 with funds from UNESCO.
During his lecture in front of the South Korean, French and Russia ambassadors as well as other officials representing various embassies in Phnom Penh, Mr. Yara spoke about the importance of Preah Vihear.
“Preah Vihear temple is not only a symbol of solidarity for the nation, but for the international family. It is not just a temple, but a symbol of global and regional connectivity. A gateway and table for dialogue,” he said, adding that the temple is also a unique platform on which the world’s superpowers can stand together.
“It will become a forum that allows all higher diplomats to talk to each other on the sidelines, such as about economics, security and cooperation,” Mr. Yara said.
US Embassy spokesman Jay R. Raman said the United States was proud to be a founding member of the ICC-PV.
“The ICC-Preah Vihear is a valuable mechanism for the international community to support the conservation and sustainable development of Preah Vihear and Koh Ker,” he said.
“We look forward to working with Cambodia and the other members of the ICC to ensure that this extraordinary cultural patrimony is protected and preserved for future generations.”

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