Somkid promises Asean push

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, seen here at an International Conference on the Future of Asia, has laid out Thailand’s main strategy it intends to pursue when it takes over the chair of Asean in 2019. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Upon assuming the chairmanship of Asean next year, Thailand will mobilise efforts to draw global superpowers to cooperate more with the bloc, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said Monday, naming the United States, Russia, England and France as key targets.

In an interview with Bangkok Post, Mr Somkid said he had given relevant agencies homework to formulate the detailed plans needed to forge closer ties with major countries.

Such efforts, he said, would be in addition to the Asean plus 6 initiative, which consists of the Asean members as well as Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

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