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STATE DEPARTMENT BRIEFING ON ASEAN
- Subject: STATE DEPARTMENT BRIEFING ON ASEAN
- From: moe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 08 Jul 1997 21:40:00
Subject: STATE DEPARTMENT BRIEFING ON ASEAN'S NEW MEMBERS INCLUDING BURMA
Monday July 7 2:11 PM EDT
The Federal Document Clearing House
XXX a civil war.
QUESTION: Nick, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Cambodia's slated to
be invited into
ASEAN in a few weeks' time.
Does the current situation there have any bearing on that, as
far as the United States is concerned?
BURNS: Well, I think it goes without saying that the current situation there
has been the object of
a lot of discussion within ASEAN over the last couple of weeks and among
+++ Elapsed Time 00:07, Eastern Time 13:21 +++
That's certainly true of the United States in all of our dealings with the
ASEAN countries, and with
some of the other countries that are part of the post-ministerial conference
-- Australia, for
instance -- and some of the European countries.
I think it stands to reason that Cambodia would be the subject of discussion
in Kuala Lumpur at
the end of this month, at the ASEAN meetings. As to whether it's a formal
discussion, I don't
know at this time. I think it's too early to tell.
QUESTION: So, I mean, is the United States going to use the suggestion that
Cambodia is not
ready to get into ASEAN as a way to keep Burma also out of ASEAN, because
the whole point
was to get these last three in all at once?
BURNS: Well, I think the United States would separate those questions and
candidacies. The United States has a very clear position on the issue of
whether Burma is ready to
be a member of ASEAN. We've made that position clear to the ASEAN member
It's their decision, of course. It's their decision. They have to make this
decision. But the United
States has a very strong view that the government of Burma is run by
+++ Elapsed Time 00:08, Eastern Time 13:22 +++
What's happening in Burma is not consistent with what's happening in most of
the rest of Southeast
Asia, either economically, or certainly, politically. And we will continue
to try to isolate Burma
through our own economic and political policies.
I think we would separate the two and prefer to treat Cambodia individually
rather than to lump it
QUESTION: It's just that if you have what seems to be, in effect, a
successful coup d'etat through
military force by one of the prime ministers, it seems Cambodia becomes more
Burma than it is, let's say, to a lot of other countries in ASEAN.
BURNS: I think that's too early to say. Obviously, the fighting this weekend
was engineered to
produce certain results.
But I think the origin of the fighting is, at least at this
point, sufficiently murky so that we don't want to shoot arrows
at one side or another today.
+++ Elapsed Time 00:09, Eastern Time 13:23 +++
What we'd like to do is use the next 24 hours to try to make better sense of
the political alignment
of forces in Phnom Penh and throughout the country, to share our views and
to ask for the insights
of other countries, and then to make some basic decisions about how the
United States proceeds.
I can tell you that Secretary Albright is personally interested in this. As
you know, she intended to
visit Phnom Penh just two weeks ago, was not able to do so because of the
She has a longstanding interest in this country, has been to Cambodia before
when she was UN
ambassador. She is following events from -- these events from Madrid rather
closely. And all of us
in Washington are doing the same things.
So I think within 24 to 48 hours we should have a better sense of where
people are lining up
politically in Phnom Penh, and therefore, be better positioned to make some
basic decisions about
United States' policy.
+++ Elapsed Time 00:10, Eastern Time 13:24 +++
QUESTION: Nick, do you have any information about the University of Oklahoma
the students from the Oklahoma Baptist College who are in Phnom Penh?