Laguna Phuket to host 42nd Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting

PHUKET CITY: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to be among diplomats attending the 42nd Asean Ministerial Meeting in Phuket next month.

Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop yesterday chaired a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall to prepare for the meetings, which will be hosted at the Laguna Phuket resort complex in Cherng Talay from July 16 to 23.

“This is an important meeting for the Asian region and we expect the foreign ministers from all 10 Asean member states to attend, along with ministers from our dialogue partner states of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the European Union, the United States, China, India, South Korea and Russia,” said Gov Wichai.

Political co-operation and security issues are expected to top the agenda.

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“Phuket will be watched from all over the world, especially if Mrs Clinton attends,” Gov Wichai said.

About 1,200 delegates and some 800 media personnel from both Thailand and abroad are expected to attend, he added.

The Foreign Ministry, which is organizing the meeting, said Laguna Phuket has 800 rooms available at its six resorts over the period.

Other hotels providing accommodation will include the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa in Mai Khao, the Courtyard by Marriott Phuket at Surin Beach and the Indigo Pearl at Nai Yang Beach.

Delegates will attend a gala dinner at Phuket FantaSea in Kamala on the night of July 22.

Given the high-profile nature of the meetings, the Ministry of Defense has been assigned responsibility for ensuring security.

An unspecified number of soldiers will be brought in, but there was no mention of the government invoking the controversial Internal Security Act.

“Phuket must not have any anti-government rallies until this meeting is finished. We will show the world that Phuket is peaceful and fully prepared to host the Asean Summits in October,” Gov Wichai said.

— Kamol Pirat

Phuket News

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