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December 24, 2008

Asean Summit:
Thai cabinet meeting to set date, venue for regional summit

Thai government has scheduled a special cabinet meeting on December 30 to discuss preparations for the Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit after the debate of the government policy is debated, reported national news agency TNA.

During Tuesday's cabinet meeting, newly-appointed premier Abhisit Vejjajiva announced the extraordinary meeting on the evening of December 30th, the last day of a two-day policy presentation to Parliament.

The special cabinet meeting will focus on the legal framework for the 14th Asean Summit as a top priority issue, said Deputy Interior Minister Thaworn Senneam.
The 44 legal frameworks proposed by all ministries were expected to be submitted on January 7-8 to the House to consider and approve under Article 190 of the kingdom's Constitution, Minister to the Prime Minister's Office Satit Wonghnongtaey said Tuesday.

The place and dates of the summit will also be set during the special Cabinet meeting.

Thailand, as current chairman of the 10-member Asean, which operates with a rotating chairmanship, is ready to host the summit in late January, Mr. Abhisit affirmed after his appointment as Thailand's 27th prime minister.

Previously, under the administration of then premier Somchai Wongsawat, the summit was postponed to March due to the country's political turbulence.

However, at last week's Asean Foreign Ministers' meeting at the Asean Secretariat in Jakarta, all ministers approved to hold the summit in Thailand on February 24-26, 2009.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of Asean, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, on Tuesday welcomed the appointment of Kim Ho-young as the Republic of Korea’s first Ambassador to Asean. Korea is the fifth country to appoint its Ambassador to Asean, following the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Kim is concurrently the ambassador to Indonesia.

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