Mon, Dec 22, 2008 - Page 5 News List

ASEAN may reschedule delayed Bangkok summit


The delayed summit of Southeast Asian nations due in late February in Thailand may be rescheduled as some leaders are unable to make it, Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo said in remarks published yesterday.

“I thought we had settled it in Jakarta a few days ago, but now I’m told that there are some leaders who can’t make it,” Yeo was quoted as saying in Singapore weekly the Sunday Times.

He did not mention the leaders who are not able to attend the ASEAN summit from Feb. 24 to Feb. 26 in Bangkok but said alternative dates being considered include late next month or early February.

Thailand, which currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the 10-member bloc, said last week it would host the summit at the Government House.

The ASEAN meeting was delayed from the middle of this month amid political turmoil in Thailand, where crowds occupied the capital’s airports in a protest against the ruling party loyal to ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The protests ended when a court stripped Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat of his position and disbanded the pro-Thaksin People Power Party in a vote fraud case.

Thailand was forced to delay the ASEAN meeting until March because of the blockade of Bangkok’s airports that left 350,000 travelers stranded.

The ASEAN summit will also involve the group’s dialogue partners, including China, South Korea, Japan and India, as well as the UN secretary general and chiefs of other international organizations.

ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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