Thailand's delegates to the World Heritage Committee (WHC) meeting in June will oppose any discussion on the Preah Vihear temple, the government says.
Environment Minister Preecha Rengsomboonsuk said he will ask the cabinet to endorse this stance next week.
Although Cambodia has already listed the temple as a World Heritage site, a dispute between Thailand and Cambodia regarding what constitutes its surrounding area is pending at the World Court.
Mr Preecha said nothing should be done until the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) verdict on the temple's vicinity is delivered. The judgement is expected in October.
The Environment Ministry will lead the Thai team at the 37th WHC meeting, to be held in Phnom Penh from June 16 to 27.
The government has assigned vice-minister Pitaya Pookaman to head the Thai delegation.
Mr Preecha said no discussion on Preah Vihear is listed on the meeting agenda, but he is not sure if it could be raised during the conference.
"Until now, the issue has not been put on any agenda. And we do hope there won't be any discussion during the meeting until the court's verdict is made," Mr Preecha said.
Thailand is concerned that Cambodia, as host of the meeting, could propose a plan on how to manage the Preah Vihear complex as a World Heritage site for the consideration of the committee.
If the WHC agrees to discuss any issue related to Preah Vihear, then Thailand's team will not cooperate, Mr Preecha said.
He also said that if the committee makes any resolution that could have an impact on Thai territory, the Thai delegates will not respect the decision.
He said the delegates' stance will be to protect the country's territorial integrity.
Mr Preecha said if any representatives from Unesco want to visit the temple, Thailand is obliged to oppose that as well.
He said such a request would run against the ICJ's order clearly stating that any action related to the temple which could raise tensions is not allowed.
"We will closely monitor the committee's financial assistance for the temple's restoration as well. We will oppose it if the money is used for projects in the temple's still-disputed vicinity areas, such as improving the market at the foot of the temple's hill," he said.
During the June meeting, the committee will consider Thailand's proposal to list Wat Phra Mahatat Woramahawihan in Nakhon Si Thammarat province as a World Heritage site.
The committee will also consider Thailand's progress on its protection and preservation plan for Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, which is designated as a World Heritage site.
Thailand has submitted the plan to the committee, which has raised concerns about forest encroachment, delays in a wildlife corridor project, a dam construction project and illegal poaching of precious timber in the forest.
The committee is expected to make a decision on whether to give the Thai forest "in danger" status during its meeting next year.
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- Writer: Apinya Wipatayotin