Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Terrorism tops ASEAN meeting

Counter-terrorism is expected to be high on the agenda of the ASEAN meeting in Thailand, following the Jakarta bombings.

PHUKET, THAILAND // South-east Asian foreign ministers began talks in Thailand today, with counter-terrorism expected to be high on the agenda after last week's suicide bombings in the Indonesian capital Jakarta. The ministers from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) were also due to formally agree terms for the creation of a commission on human rights, which has already been met with scepticism by analysts and rights groups.

Thai foreign minister Kasit Piromya said late yesterday there was a "maximum consensus" in ASEAN about the commission, which would take into account the "special circumstances" of the 10 member countries, which include military-ruled Myanmar. Some 10,000 troops have enforced a no-protest zone around the venue in the resort of Phuket to prevent an embarrassing repeat of the last regional gathering in Thailand, when anti-government demonstrators breached security to scuttle the East Asia Summit, forcing half the leaders to be evacuated by helicopter.

The meeting comes ahead of Asia's biggest annual security gathering, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which takes place on Thursday and where concerns over North Korea's recent military moves are likely to take centre stage. Those talks will include the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as foreign ministers from North Asia and officials from the European Union and Russia. Thai officials have said they expect the United States to join the ASEAN Treaty on Amity and Co-operation this week, a move that would signal Washington's renewed engagement with South-east Asia.

* Reuters

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National