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(July 2, 2019) Projecting power through Asean unity

 It only took a few seconds to change the substance of the discussion between Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and his Brunei counterpart, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Erywan Yusof, during their bilateral meeting on June 21. The two ministers were talking about ways to reduce the high cost of mobile phone roaming services in Asean to promote people-to-people contact. They were discussing "doing something together, sort-of-thing, to promote a people-centred community", according to a source who was at the meeting, when the host quipped, "Why not have Asean host the World Cup?". The word "yes" was the immediate response from Brunei. The rest is history.

Once they attended the informal dinner with other Asean counterparts, the idea was firmly embedded. In the next hour or two, news quickly spread that Asean would bid for the World Cup in 2034. But there was one hurdle that remained: the proposal had to be endorsed by Asean leaders the next day.

www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1705464/projecting-power-through-asean-unity


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