|Subject: AFP: Thai top brass keen on
Philippine role Timor
Thai top brass keen on Philippine role Timor
BANGKOK, June 14 (AFP) - Supreme Commander General Mongkon Ampornpisit Wednesday expressed support for a UN request that Thailand take over command of troops in East Timor from the Philippines.
Monkon said that among the possible candidates for the post would be Major-General Songkiti Jaggabatara, who served as deputy commander in the Australian-led multinational force which brought peace to East Timor last year before handing over to UN peacekeepers.
"The Thai military considers the offer as an honour, because the Thai military capacity has been recognised by the UN and the international community," he told reporters.
He said Thailand's record in East Timor had been praised by the UN, Australia and Indonesia.
"I do not think there will be any trouble if Thailand wants to take the commander's post," he said.
The Thai cabinet on Tuesday authorised Chuan to consult with military chiefs on the proposed move.
The Philippines has scaled down its involvement in East Timor because of concern it is overstretching its resources given increased activity by Muslim separatists at home.
Earlier this year Philippine military chief General Angelo Reyes raised the prospect of rotating the leadership role among South East Asian armies.
Thailand currently has about 800 troops in East Timor .
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