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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    20 July 2012

Indonesian Foreign Minister on mission to break Asean deadlock


Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa is due to arrive in Phnom Penh today in a bid to break a deadlock at the annual meeting of Asean foreign ministers last week, officials said.
A diplomatic source said Natalegawa was in the Philippines yesterday in an effort to unite Asean voices over an annual joint statement on which the Asean ministers failed to agree.
Kao Kim Hourn, secretary of state of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said Natalegawa "can discuss Asean issues with Hor Namhong," referring to the foreign minister. He refused to comment on whether the two ministers would discuss the joint statement.
However, a source said Natalegawa had been mandated by  Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to help facilitate the joint statement.
The source added that the Indonesian minister would explore with Hor Namhong how to find a solution to the impasse, noting that the Indonesian leader had expressed his regrets over the failure to finalise the statement last week.
Hor Namhong blamed inappropriate language during the meeting, with the Philippines mentioning the disputed Scarborough Shoal and Vietnam referring to its exclusive economic zone.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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