Armed forces instructed to secure meetings
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon instructed the armed forces Monday to provide full security for Asean leaders who will attend a series of meetings hosted by Thailand as the chair of the regional bloc throughout the year.
The instruction was given at a Defence Council meeting chaired by Gen Prawit in his capacity as Defence Minister, Defence Ministry spokesman, Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich, said.
The spokesman said that leaders and representatives of Asean members and other countries outside the region will be invited to attend more than 180 meetings that will take place at various venues across the country.
Gen Prawit said state agencies must learn from "a lesson in the past", said Lt Gen Kongcheep. The spokesman was referring to the fiasco in April 2009, when red-shirt protesters disrupted an Asean summit in Pattaya, which forced the evacuation of regional leaders from the venue.
Meanwhile, the World Bank reaffirmed its support of Thailand's chairmanship of Asean during a courtesy call to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs by Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank's vice-president for East Asia and the Pacific region, according to the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Monday.