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Arroyo to meet Thai leader

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Thaksin not on agenda

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 10:12:00 11/10/2008

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will meet Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat in Malacanang Monday, the Palace said in a statement.

But reported plans by former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to seek asylum here will not be discussed, it said.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said that by tradition in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the incumbent Thai prime minister, who is new to his post, would introduce himself to Arroyo.

Somchai will also meet with an ASEAN technical working group to discuss the proposed expansion of the Chiang Mai Initiative, an $80-billion currency swap facility that was set up in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, to address the impact of the global credit crunch, Dureza said.

“Wala pong ganung storya sa atin, merong parang intention si former PM Thaksin (The rumored intention of Thaksin is not an issue),” Dureza told radio station dzMM.

Reiterating the statement by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thaksin, Dureza said: “If there is an attempt, he will be
courteously informed that he will not be received here.”

Thai media have been reporting that Thaksin and his wife have been looking at countries where they could seek asylum, including China and the Philippines, after they were convicted of corruption.

Thaksin was ousted by the military in a coup a few years back.

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Written by joelguinto

MonUTC2008-11-10T05:14:27+00:00UTC11bUTCMon, 10 Nov 2008 05:14:27 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am11

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