Bangkok Meeting Draws Political Leaders

The chiefs of Cambodia’s three top political parties are meeting this weekend with regional leaders in Bangkok.

Talks held by the more than 200 political heads representing 72 political parties from various Asian nations will likely mirror those held earlier this month in Phnom Penh during the 8th Asean Summit, with terrorism and security topping the agenda.

Meeting participants are also set to discuss political reform and good governance—issues at the heart of many of the region’s fledgling democracies.

Prime Minister Hun Sen left Friday for Bangkok, along with Minister of Cabinet Sok An, a government official said. Funcin­pec spokesman Kol Pheng said Friday that he would be joining Prince Norodom Rana­riddh, while opposition leader Sam Rainsy would also attend.

“It is significant that all these political leaders are getting together to exchange experiences and knowledge,” Kol Pheng said of the three-day meeting—being called the 2nd International Conference of Asian Political Parties.

The first conference was held two years ago in the Philippines with the thought that regular meetings of area political parties would help solve intra-regional problems, the Bangkok-based Newspaper The Nation reported Friday.

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo will be at this year’s meeting, along with Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

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