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Surin Pitsuwan, former secretary general of ASEAN, dies

In his last interview, Surin calls on regional bloc to choose friends wisely, be more self-reliant

Surin Pitsuwan gives an exclusive interview to the Nikkei Asian Review on Nov. 30, just hours before his death. (Photo by Yukako Ono)

BANGKOK -- Surin Pitsuwan, the former secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), died in Bangkok on Thursday of a heart attack. He was 68.

Surin was ASEAN secretary general from 2008 to 2012, and worked hard to bring unity and purpose to the grouping's ten economically and politically divergent members. 

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