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Thai Foreign Minister eyes top U.N. post

Sept. 15, 2004 at 4:18 AM   |   Comments

BANGKOK, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Thailand's Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai is likely to take a higher profile at the United Nations, with an eye on the top post in 2006.

Backed by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Thai diplomats have been quietly lobbying for the foreign minister to replace U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan when his term expires in 2006, The Straits Times reported Wednesday.

Thai diplomats first sounded out ASEAN ministers in March.

Lobbying for the post generally begins two years ahead of the handover, and it is widely believed that an Asian will get the job.

Other names that have been floated include former Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas and former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Musa Hitam.

Names from Singapore include those of former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, Ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh and the Dean of the new Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Kishore Mahbubani.

Former Thai minister Surin Pitsuwan and India's Shashi Tharoor, who is already with the United Nations, also figure on the list.

U.N. sources told The Straits Times that South Korea had given no indication of whether it would field or support a candidate, but if it did then that candidate would be in a strong

Topics: Lee Kuan Yew
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