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Asean summit to be postponed: govt

THE 14th annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian

Nations, scheduled to be held in Chiang Mai from December 13 to 17, has

been postponed due to the continuing political crisis in Thailand,

Cambodian and Thai officials said Tuesday.

"I have received ...

information that the meeting has been delayed," Minister of Information

Khieu Kanharith said, but could not comment on when the summit would

take place.

Thai government spokesman Nattawut Saikaur  said the summit had been postponed until March.

Koy

Kuong, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said

Cambodia would await developments in Thailand to see whether it could

guarantee the security of leaders from the 10 Asean member states.

"If

the two main airports in Thailand are reopening and are operating as

normal, it means the situation is calm and Thailand could host the

meeting," he said.

"But if not, the situation will continue to worsen," he added.  

The

Asean charter, which commits the bloc's 10 nations to promote democracy

and human rights, and was due to be signed at the summit,

will now be

adopted in Indonesia.

"The Cabinet agreed to the Foreign Ministry's

proposal to declare the Asean charter in Jakarta, and the Ministry will

write a letter to inform group members," Nattawut said.

News of the

delay came shortly after Thailand's Constitutional Court dissolved the

country's ruling party and barred Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat from

politics for five years.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP

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