Thailand was seeking to reassure Asian leaders that the regional summit would not end in chaos like the Asean meeting in Pattaya in April. That summit of leaders from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and six dialogue partners was abruptly canceled after anti-government protesters stormed the venue.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said yesterday that Phuket would be a safe destination for talks as the Democrat-led administration enjoyed very strong support in the South.
He said he was convinced Phuket residents would unite to help Thailand restore its “damaged dignity” after the Pattaya fiasco.
“I believe there will be no protest as the meeting will be held in Phuket, where local people, along with those in other parts of the South… want the event to be a success,” Suthep told the Gazette as he toured possible venues.
“The Defense Ministry will be responsible for security matters to assure the security of leaders,” he said.
Suthep said the Foreign Ministry would invite ambassadors from the 16 participating countries tomorrow to a briefing about security plans for the summit. The deputy premier said he and the defense minister would conduct the briefing.
Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who is in charge of security affairs for the event, insisted yesterday that he would never allow a repeat of the Pattaya disaster.
“However, to ensure success, the government will need cooperation from all residents of Phuket,” he said.
Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.
Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.
Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.