Friday, December 07, 2007

ASEAN’s Next Chief Appeals for Greater US Involvement

Source: The Irrawaddy

The next chief of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations says that the United States remains the only guarantor of Southeast Asian security and should become more active in regional affairs.

Surin Pitsuwan, a former foreign minister of Thailand, said one reason that Washington has neglected its Southeast Asian friends is that the Bush administration has been distracted by problems elsewhere, implicitly referring to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

The US also has distanced itself from Asean since military-ruled Burma joined the group in 1997.

"Anybody can argue, `Well, we are there even if not physically present. The tsunami; we provided help then.' That's true, but a tsunami doesn't come every day," Surin said on Thursday.

For the full report, please click here.

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