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Pattaya Daily News

23 October 2008 :: 13:10:24 pm 41054

Somchai: Asem Meet to Restore Kingdom’s International Prestige

BANGKOK, Oct 23 - Thailand will use the Asia and Europe Meeting (ASEM) leaders summit that opens in Bejing on Thursday to restore the kingdom‘s international lustre that was diminished due to the past two years of domestic political turmoil, according to Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat.
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The prime minister left Thursday for the Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 7) summit to be held in Beijing October 24-25.

Mr. Somchai told reporters before leaving Thailand for Beijing that he had prepared various issues to be discussed with ASEM member countries during the gathering, particularly relating to the global financial crisis even if it had originated in the United States and Europe but it was inevitable that there be repercussions in Asia and the ASEAN countries.

Thailand had earlier experienced the financial crisis sparked in 1997 and would demonstrate in Beijing that the country has prepared measures to respond to the crisis if it affected Thailand, he said.

The premier said that both the European Union (EU) and China proposed to have bilateral meetings with Thailand on the sidelines of the summit and he has no objection and is pleased to hold the talks.

The Beijing meeting be a good opportunity to restore confidence after the country was hit by domestic political turmoil, he said, adding that he would like to tell the countries that even though Thailand is facing problems, it could move ahead.

Touching on relations with Cambodia, Somchai reiterated that the bilateral talks would be the best way to end the border disputes between the two countries.

He said Cambodia is good neighbour and that both nations wanted to stay together peacefully without violence.

Mr. Somchai accepted that sometimes problems could not be avoided but it should be agreed upon in bilateral contacts, without need to bring them to the international arena, as no other country could know the details as much as Thailand and Cambodia.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will attend the ASEM summit showed willingness to have a bilateral talks was a good sign, Somchai said, adding that he hoped the two nations could maintain good relationship and friendship.

The meeting would be the first face-to-face talks between the two leaders since deadly armed clashes erupted last week between Thai and Cambodian soldiers at a disputed border area near the ancient Khmer Preah Vihear temple.

One Thai soldier and two Cambodian soldiers died as a result of the clash.

The ASEM 7 summit will be the first gathering of leaders of 45 Asian and European partners since its second round of enlargement in 2006.

The overarching theme of ASEM 7 is ‘Vision and Action: Towards a Win-Win Solution’. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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