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Peace and political stability key to Asean's development, panel says

NATIONAL AND regional peace as well as political stability are crucial for the economic development of Asean as a whole, a committee helping oversee Thailand's preparedness for the Asean Community said yesterday.

After settling domestic political conflicts, Thailand will move on to working on its preparedness for the Asean Community in 2015, the committee said.



The permanent secretaries for the Defence and Foreign ministries yesterday met to discuss the country's readiness ahead of the Asean Community integration, focusing on how to solve conflicts peacefully in order to demonstrate Thailand's leadership role in the region.



Surasak Kanjanarat, permanent secretary for the Defence Ministry, said the panel would focus on five key areas. Surasak is in charge of political and security aspects in the preparation.



The key areas discussed were unity within Asean and creating a balance with global superpowers;

national preparedness for Asean integration; cooperation with Asean states to promote connectivity; a proper pace of internal changes that maintain national security; and the creation of awareness and proper attitude towards Asean.



He said the plans for the five strategic issues would be put in place in the run-up to the Asean Community.



Over the next few months, internal political affairs will be managed and then from October to December, the committee will focus on border management, marine security, solving criminal cases, and strengthening trust and military cooperation among Asean members.



He said foreign military attaches would be invited for a meeting next Friday soon to discuss cooperation.






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