Leaders of ASEAN and dialogue partners leaving Thailand after summits cancellation

April 12, 2009 8:01 am 

PATTAYA, Thailand, April 11 — Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and dialogue partners are leaving Thailand Saturday as the 14th ASEAN related summits scheduled for April 10-12 were canceled due to political turmoil in Thailand.

An official from Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the ASEAN leaders who had been previously in a luxury hotel for meetings had been taken out of the venue with helicopters. Leaders and officials of ASEAN's dialogue partners who had been blocked from entering the venue are also planning to leave the country.

Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has canceled his scheduled trip to Pattaya. He had been supposed to arrive here Saturday afternoon and to attend the 3rd ASEAN-UN summit scheduled on Sunday.

The Thai government had declared state of emergency in Chonburi province, where Pattaya is located. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said that all the leaders and delegates had been informed of the emergency decree and the Thai government will try its best to guarantee the safe departure of all leaders.

The summits were canceled because some 2,000 anti-government protesters broke into the summits venue and the media center Saturday morning, which made the summits impossible. (PNA/Xinhua)



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