Political turmoil wont affect ASEAN Summit, says official

November 26th, 2008 - 3:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Jakarta, Nov.26 (ANI): A senior official of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has said that the ongoing political turmoil in Bangkok will not stop Thailand from hosting a summit of Southeast Asian nations in the northern province of Chiang Mai two weeks from now.
The government is managing the situation and the fact that they have moved the venue to Chiang Mai is making sure it is going to be smooth and away from any pressure, the Bangkok Post quoted ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, as saying in a press conference here.
Surin made the statement a day after about 18,000 protesters of Peoples Alliance for Democracy (PAD) surrounded the parliament, forcing the parliament to cancel its joint session to consider legislation related to the ASEAN summit.
Surin called the ongoing political tension in Thailand as part of inconvenience of parliamentary democracy.
If it is a presidential system, you would not have the problem. We have to live with that as long as it is constitutionally resolved, he was quoted as saying.
Earlier the day, the Thai Foreign Minister’’s spokesman, Tharit Charungvat, expressed his confidence on Thailands readiness to host the summit.
Every country is confident that Thailand can host the meeting, he said.
Two months ago, Cambodia said it was concerned about Thailands ability to host the summit, and even suggested ASEAN consider a more stable host such as Singapore or Vietnam.
Relations between Thailand and Cambodia have turned sour following the border dispute over the Preah Vihear temple.
ASEAN itself has not been in a position to help solve the conflict because of Thailands decision to engage in bilateral talks with the neighboring country. (ANI)

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