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14th ASEAN summits open in Thailand
Updated: 2009-04-10 23:39

PATTAYA, Thailand -- The 14th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) related summits opened here Friday evening with a dinner set for ASEAN senior officials and directors-general.  

14th ASEAN summits open in Thailand
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) greets officials as he arrives for the 14th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits at U-Tapao airport near Pattaya April 10, 2009. [Agencies]

The related summits will involve various key Dialogue Partners of ASEAN under the framework of ASEAN Plus One (with China), ASEAN Plus Three (with China, Japan, and South Korea), and the East Asia Summit (EAS) (ASEAN 10 with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India and New Zealand).  

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Thai government could provide security and ensure the meetings to proceed smoothly, said Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva here Friday, referring to the whole-day rally of anti-government protestors outside the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, the venue of the summits.

At least 2,000 pro-Thaksin "red-shirt" protestors had besieged the luxury hotel for the whole day before retreated in the late afternoon.

The protestors, known as the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, are followers of exiled former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. They are demanding the resignation of Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and the dissolution of his four- month-old coalition government on the grounds that it came to power undemocratically.

The related summits in Pattaya are an important and integral part of the 14th ASEAN Summit held from February 27 to March 1, 2009 in Cha-am Hua Hin.

According to the schedule, ASEAN Plus One Summits with China, South Korea, and Japan, respectively, are scheduled for April 11, to be followed by the ASEAN Plus Three Summit and ASEAN Summit Plus One with India in the afternoon.

On April 12, the East Asia Summit (EAS), or the so-called ASEAN Plus Six Summit, will be held amongst the leaders from the ASEAN member countries and the leaders of six ASEAN dialogue partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

In addition, the 3rd ASEAN-UN Summit is scheduled to be convened on April 12. This summit will be an opportunity for ASEAN leaders and Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, to discuss regional and international issues of mutual interest including development, food and energy security, climate change, disaster management, and issues of the global financial crisis.

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