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Thein Sein Backs Out of Bangkok Forum

29 May 2012

Burma’s reformist president has canceled plans to attend an upcoming economic conference in Thailand’s capital. Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongphakdi said he was told that President Thein Sein will miss the World Economic Forum on East Asia because he’ll be engaged with domestic affairs. The cancellation, however, may actually reflect a protocol problem, as Thein Sein’s planned attendance is expected to be overshadowed by the presence of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who will also speak at the May 30-June 1 forum during her first trip abroad in 22 years.—AP