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PM backs move of Asean summit

PM backs move of Asean summit

PRIME Minister Hun Sen on Monday backed a proposal for crisis-hit Thailand to relinquish hosting this year's Asean summit after Thailand announced the delay of the meeting until March due to its ongoing political turmoil. The summit was originally scheduled to be held December 13 to 17.

Speaking at the National Assembly, Hun Sen said the suggestion from Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to stage the summit in January at the Jakarta-based secretariat of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations was "a good way to resolve the problem".

"We understand Thailand's difficulties, but Thailand should understand the other nine members of Asean," Hun Sen said. "They should not become hostages of Thailand's political crisis."

Loong said on Friday that postponing the summit was a setback for all of Southeast Asia. The city-state's leader added that the meeting should not be delayed too long during the current global financial crisis. 

Additional reporting by AFP