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PM asks for ASEAN meet on swine flu

PM asks for ASEAN meet on swine flu

PRIME Minister Hun Sen requested Wednesday that the ASEAN secretary general summon all member-state leaders to an emergency meeting to discuss swine flu prevention measures.

In a speech to over 500 students at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen said that the regional bloc must work together to fight this new disease.

"I want the chairman of ASEAN, Abhisit Vejjajiva, the prime minister of Thailand, to consider a summit to decide on emergency measures to control the spread of this disease in ASEAN countries," Hun Sen said.

"A meeting between ministers may have difficulties making decisions that are responsive to the spread of this disease. But if there is a meeting between the top leaders of each country, accompanied by public health and agriculture ministers, I will support it," Hun Sen said. He added: "We cannot fight the disease alone because it may affect our trade with our neighbouring countries."

Hun Sen also ordered Cham Prasidh, minister of commerce, to meet with Surin Pitsuwan, the secretary general of ASEAN, to discuss a summit on swine flu.

There have been no suspected cases of swine flu in Cambodia yet, but the government has implemented precautions to prevent its spread into the Kingdom.

Chan Sarun, the minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, said Wednesday that officials from the public health and agriculture departments are setting up checkpoints where pigs are stored and slaughtered to monitor the disease.  

"We are cooperating with the Ministry of Public Health to think of measures to prevent the spread of this disease," Chan Sarun said.

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