[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index
Burma Will Conform to ASEAn Ways
- Subject: Burma Will Conform to ASEAn Ways
- From: waterly@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997 18:39:00
Copyright 1997 Reuters, Limited
Reuters World Service
February 13, 1997, Thursday, BC cycle
HEADLINE: Burma will conform to ASEAN ways - Malaysia
DATELINE: SINGAPORE, Feb 13
Burmese membership of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will
mean that Rangoon becomes more like other nations in the group, Malaysian
Foreign Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said on Thursday.
"When Myanmar (Burma) becomes a member of ASEAN, it will in a way conform a
lot to the ASEAN ways of doing things," Abdullah told reporters after a meeting
of foreign ministers from the seven-member regional grouping and the European
"To say that Myanmar will remain as it is, irrespective of whether it
becomes a member, I think that is not the view that we can accept."
In the face of fierce criticism from the West, ASEAN maintains that its
policy of constructive engagement with the military rulers in Rangoon is the
best way to coax reforms from them.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon told reporters in a separate
briefing that some EU countries "issued a veiled threat that it would be
difficult for us to talk if Burma is in ASEAN."
"We just laughed at the threats," Siazon said when asked about the reaction
of the ASEAN ministers.
The EU should endorse Burma's membership in ASEAN, which now groups Brunei,
Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, Siazon
"If Burma joined ASEAN, they can have a regular forum to raise their
concerns over human rights. Now, they have no forum. How can you influence
Burma when you don't have a forum?"
Abdullah said preparation for Burma's entry into ASEAN was going well but
no decision had been made on when this would happen.
ASEAN leaders at an informal summit in Jakarta last December agreed Burma
would be admitted at the same time as Laos and Cambodia.
Malaysia, which hosts ASEAN's next annual meeting in July, said it wanted the
new members to join by the end of this year.
LOAD-DATE: February 14, 1997