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CHANCE FOR ASEAN TO CIRCUMVENT PREE
- Subject: CHANCE FOR ASEAN TO CIRCUMVENT PREE
- From: moe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 10:30:00
Subject: CHANCE FOR ASEAN TO CIRCUMVENT PREESURE OVER BURMA REUTER 10/7
Chance for Asean to circumvent pressure over
KUALA LUMPUR -- The Cambodian crisis could be a blessing in disguise for
Asean as it now had a way of "circumventing the pressure" against admitting
Myanmar into the regional grouping, said an analyst.
"Asean now has a way of circumventing the pressure over Myanmar," said
Razak Baginda, head of the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre, as the
foreign ministers prepared to meet in Malaysia today to defer Cambodia's
"Asean has no choice but to delay the whole process. It (admitting
Asean) would be a de facto recognition of Hun Sen's coup d'etat. Asean
very bad," the analyst said of the Cambodian crisis. Other analysts
said the decision
to induct Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia as a group was a way of deflecting an
international outcry over admitting Myanmar, whose military rulers have
accused of widespread human-rights abuses in cracking down on a democracy
Asean had argued strenuously that it was admitting countries, not
that in any case the grouping could exert more influence on rogue
rulers from within
the family fold as part of its policy of "constructive engagement".
It had long maintained that it could not interfere with the domestic
concerns of its
Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said yesterday Asean had not
ruled out the
possibility of postponing Cambodia's entry into the seven-member grouping.
"If that is the desired consensus of Asean foreign ministers, then, of
course," he told
Malaysia is this year's chairman of Asean, which also groups Brunei,
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
As host of Asean's annual meeting from July 21-29, Kuala Lumpur was
keenest to induct the new members on schedule, diplomats and analysts
Malaysia's Acting Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, told
Tuesday that Asean was sticking to its original schedule for Cambodia's
But, he added: "We're asking our Foreign Ministry to discuss with other
foreign ministries the possibility of a change."
Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines are thought to be leaning
the whole issue, at least till the end of the year, when Asean will be
informal summit in Kuala Lumpur, diplomats said. -- Reuter.