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Thailand sets date for ASEAN summit: minister

Thailand has set new dates for the delayed summit of Southeast Asian nations in Bangkok, a minister said on Wednesday.

business Updated: Dec 24, 2008 16:50 IST

Thailand has set new dates for the delayed summit of Southeast Asian nations in Bangkok, a minister said on Wednesday.

The 14th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will now go ahead on February 13-15.

The foreign ministry had earlier mentioned the dates of February 24-26 but the plan had to be dropped because it was not convenient for some member nations and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva wanted to make it earlier.

"The new summit dates are February 13-15," Boonchong Wongtrairat, deputy interior minister told reporters, adding that the exact location in Bangkok has not yet been finalised.

"The government wants Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre but it is already booked, so we will have to negotiate," he said.

The meeting was delayed from mid-December amid political turmoil in Thailand including the occupation of the capital's airports, which led to the toppling of the ruling party loyal to ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Abhisit hopes to project the summit as a sign that normality is returning to Thailand after months of instability.

ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Representatives of Japan, South Korea, China, India, as well as the United Nations secretary general, are expected to attend the summit.

Satit Wonghnongtaey, a minister attached to the Prime Minister's Office, said Thailand was waiting for confirmation from China on the new dates.

Foreign ministry permanent secretary Virasak Futrakool said he expected final answers by Thursday.