[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Monday, July 20, 2009

[ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Phuket]
After the Pattaya debacle, ASEAN Foreign Ministers arrived in Phuket to very tight security. Despite the heavy presence of uniformed personnel, Thai hospitality surrounds you. It sometimes seems everyone is bowing, clasping hands, wishing you 'sawadee kap', offering you flower garlands. I always feel that my response to their good wishes is insufficient.

We wrapped up much of our business by Monday afternoon. Tuesday is a light day but Wednesday and Thursday will be a series of meetings in different combinations with ASEAN partners including the US, China, Russia, Japan, India, Australia, NZ, Europe and others, ending with the ASEAN Regional Forum. Having chaired these meetings last year, I know how heavy the burden is on the Thai Chair, FM Kasit. However, he retains his sense of humour and has the ability to summarise our discussions in a concise, succinct way, and brought the the first set of meetings to a close ahead of time. It helps that Phuket provides a conducive environment.

Arriving at the Phuket airport

Meetings with the High Level Panel and the High Level Legal Experts Group

Informal Working Dinner


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