Ex-Asean sec-gen Surin Pitsuwan dies

BANGKOK: Former Thai foreign minister and ex-Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan died from heart failure on Thursday in hospital.

He was 68 and is survived by his wife and three children.

Surin, a native of Nakhon Si Thammarat province, was a fellow of The Rockefeller Fellowship Programme, The Rockefeller Foundation, Harvard University and American University, Cairo.

He earned his Master of Arts’ degree at Harvard University and did research at the American University in Cairo as a scholar of the Institute of Higher Council for Islamic Affairs of Egypt from 1975 until 1977 before returning to Harvard, where he received his doctorate in 1982.

In Thailand, he was known as a veteran politician and won the vote in his hometown on several occasions. He served as deputy foreign minister from 1992-1995 and as foreign minister from 1997 to 2001. He was named secretary-general of Asean Secretariat on Jan 1, 2008.


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