UNESCO Director- General Irina Bokova expressed her deep concern at the sudden escalation of tensions between Cambodia and Thailand on the issue of the Temple of Preah Vihear, inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Reports indicate that troops on either side have exchanged fire resulting in the loss of life and also some damage to the temple.

The Director-General expresses her distress at this sudden turn of events and calls upon both sides to exercise restraint for the sake of the preservation of the Temple of Preah Vihear and open direct channels of communication at the highest levels to defuse the tension.