PM urges tight security for Apec
Summit 'is important for nation's progress'
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the National Security Council (NSC) to ensure safety measures are in place for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit being held in the capital next month.
Speaking after chairing NSC meeting on Wednesday, Gen Prayut stressed the cooperation of security officials, police, military and Bangkokians to ensure safety as the city plays host.
Gen Prayut also stressed the importance of Apec 2022 as it will run under the concept of "Open. Connect. Balance" which will benefit the country.
"Now, it is considered an important step for Thailand to be accepted by foreign countries which will further allow the nation to benefit from investments and tourism among others," said Gen Prayut.
"In this regard, I implore everyone to keep our country safe and prevent any incidents from affecting the event as it will hamper the progress of our country."
In a defence council meeting, chaired by Gen Prayut, attendees agreed to closely monitor political activists and violent groups that may use the event to negatively impact the country's image.
The National Intelligence Agency will run a war room to ensure the flow of information with the help of the Special Branch Bureau, Army Military Intelligence Command and the armed forces security centre.
To ensure security, deputy defence spokesman Col Jittanat Punnotok said that the police and the army have been instructed to tighten security at their weapon storages.
Security forces have also been ordered to carry out drills to ready themselves so they can promptly respond to an unexpected incident, Col Jittanat said.
Meanwhile, NSC secretary-general Supoj Malaniyom said a security and traffic subcommittee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, reported that there have so far been no situations of concern.
The meeting also agreed on preventive measures to handle unexpected incidents and uncertain circumstances including providing escorts for VIP persons during the Apec meeting, Gen Supoj said.
In addition, the meeting acknowledged the escalated tensions in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Taiwan Strait and ongoing unrest in Myanmar. The country's monitoring of these situations will be intensified so to allow a prompt response to any future developments that may affect the country.
"Thailand will take a firm stand to encourage each party to solve matters through peaceful negotiation in accordance with international laws and the Charter of the United Nations," said Gen Supoj.
Regarding the unrest in Myanmar, Thailand has stringently abided by standard operation procedures (SOPs) in providing humanitarian assistance based on legal and international obligations.
Thailand will also create a national security scheme (2023-2027) for an effective operational plan for the country's future security, he said.