The United States has priased former foreign minister and Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan as a “great Southeast Asian statesman.” (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
WASHINGTON: The United States mourned the death on Thursday of former foreign minister and Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan, praising him as a “great Southeast Asian statesman.”
“We extend our condolences to his country, family and loved ones, while saluting his many contributions to the enduring ties between Thailand and the United States and to the diplomatic integration of Southeast Asia,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
Nauert said the Harvard-educated Surin was “a tireless champion of the Thai people, an eloquent advocate for all of Southeast Asia, and a dear friend of the United States,” and that he “stood staunchly for democratic values.”
Surin served as the foreign minister from 1997 to 2001 under a Democrat Party-led government. He is best known for his time at the helm of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations from 2008 until 2012.
Surin died on Thursday of heart attack at age 68.
Bangkok Post | WRITER: KYODO NEWS | 30 Nov 2017