Thailand asks regional leaders to reconvene summit in June | world | Hindustan Times
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Thailand asks regional leaders to reconvene summit in June

Thailand has asked regional leaders to reconvene a key summit over two days next month after anti-government protesters overran and forced the abrupt closure of earlier meetings in April.

world Updated: May 04, 2009 14:55 IST

Thailand has asked regional leaders to reconvene a key summit over two days next month after anti-government protesters overran and forced the abrupt closure of earlier meetings in April.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban told reporters Monday he had spoken to ambassadors from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its six dialogue partners to reassure them it would not happen again.

"The Thai government has proposed the dates of June 13th and 14th to hold the ASEAN summit with dialogue partners in Phuket," Suthep said after the meeting.

Defence minister Prawit Wongsuwon said foreign leaders invited had asked to see a security plan and sought reassurance that no protesters would be allowed within a five-kilometre radius of the rescheduled summit.

The army would police the event, Suthep, the minister in charge of security, confirmed.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Its six dialogue partners are Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

On April 11 thousands of protesters loyal to fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra stormed the summit venue in the coastal city of Pattaya to demand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva stand down and call fresh elections.

Foreign leaders and dignitaries were urgently ferried out under a state of emergency by helicopter, boat and car in what was a huge diplomatic embarrassment for Thailand.