Cambodia and Thailand on April 15 began airing their arguments regarding the sovereignty over the area around Preah Vihear temple, at a hearing in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

The week-long hearing is being held two years after Cambodia asked the court to clarify the 1962 ruling on the temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site located on the borderline between Cambodia and Thailand .

In 1962, IJC issued the judgment that the Preah Vihear temple belongs to Cambodia; however, it did not clarify the ownership of the surroundings, which leads to the two sides’ dispute over the sovereignty.

Thailand does not dispute Cambodia's ownership of the 900-year-old temple, but both sides claim sovereignty over 4.6 square kilometre patch of land next to the temple.

Without an interpretation of the 1962 ICJ ruling, there could be unfortunate consequences which would prevent the two states from living in a friendly, peaceful and cooperative environment, Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told the court.

He stressed that the Preah Vihear temple is a very important symbol of the peaceful relations between Thailand and Cambodia.

The two sides will present their stance from April 15-19 and the court is expected to issue a decision on who owns the disputed land around the temple by October.-VNA