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ASEAN foreign ministers to issue statement condemning Jakarta bombings.

PHUKET, Thailand, July 18 Kyodo

Foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations are expected to issue a statement on Saturday condemning almost simultaneous explosions at two luxury hotels in Jakarta on Friday morning, killing at least eight people and injuring 53 others.

Thai Foreign Ministry top bureaucrat Virasakdi Futrakul, who chaired a working dinner of ASEAN senior officials, told Kyodo News that the officials discussed the plan during the meeting.

He said the plan will get approval from ASEAN foreign ministers who are scheduled to officially begin series of annual meetings on Monday on the southern Thai resort island of Phuket.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry Secretary General Imron Cotan said, ''We have agreed to propose to our foreign ministers to issue a statement basically portraying that ASEAN countries are united to confront this act of terrorism.''

According to Virasakdi, the statement will say, ''We condemn the act of terrorism that cause loss of innocent lives and urge the authorities to bring the culprits to justice.''

''We express the solidarity in supporting the Indonesian government and that ASEAN will remain steadfast in countering acts of terrorism in all manifestations,'' he added.

ASEAN officials were shocked by the tragic explosions which occurred at the tightly secured hotels, according to Virasakdi.

Thailand has reinforced security in Phuket, which hosts some 1,000 delegates from the 10 ASEAN countries and 16 other countries for the annual meetings.

More than 10,000 forces have been deployed after Thailand enacted an internal security act to quell antigovernment demonstrators.

The act prohibits any demonstrations in the neighborhood of the meeting venue, covering six sub-districts of Thalang and the Kathu district of Phuket.

''We cannot afford to let demonstrators spoil the tourism opportunity in Phuket, which has suffered a great loss of tourists since late last year when antigovernment protestors broke into Bangkok's two major airports,'' said a woman who engages in restaurant business in Phuket.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Jul 20, 2009
Words:334
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