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AFP-Myanmar aid-for-talks dialogue
- Subject: AFP-Myanmar aid-for-talks dialogue
- From: tinkyi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 03 Jun 1999 07:29:00
Subject: AFP-Myanmar aid-for-talks dialogue to resume this year: sources
Myanmar aid-for-talks dialogue to resume this year: sources
BANGKOK, June 2 (AFP) - A UN plan to give aid to Myanmar's junta as a
carrot to prompt talks with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi could
as soon as August, sources involved in the process said from Yangon
Sources said Alvaro de Soto, a special envoy of United Nations
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, would visit Myanmar this year and possibly as
early as August to rekindle the stalled aid-for-talks proposal.
But they said the idea was highly sensitive and would not be raised
publically in the forseeable future.
"I would not hold your breath and if this happens it will be a really
difficult and tenuous process," one foreign observer told AFP.
"We have among the donors very different time frames about how things
should move. Some are patient and some are not. Some have higher demands
The international community has suspended all but non-humanitarian aid to
Myanmar in reaction to widespread allegations of gross human rights abuses
well as Yangon's refusal to recognise 1990 elections.
Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party won a
victory in the elections but the junta has only tightened its hold on power
and imprisoned hundreds of NLD members.
Philippine President Joseph Estrada on Monday informed UN Deputy
Secretary-General Louise Frechette that Manila had asked the junta to meet
"We told her that we are working with Myanmar on the visit of the
representative of (the) UN Secretary-General together with a team of World
Bank officials," Philippine Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon said Tuesday.
The proposed visit would be "to talk about development and other issues,"
Siazon also said he would meet Myanmar Foreign Minister Win Aung on
Wednesday in Tokyo.
Sources in Yangon said August was the best "window" of opportunity for de
Soto's visit but cautioned that neither side in Myanmar's political
had shown any real inclination to compromise.
"We would like to see this proceed but really it's up to the players
concerned, the UN, the government and presumably the NLD, to give it some
legs," a source said.
"It's always there in the background with hopes that it will be
De Soto last visited Yangon in October, when one billion dollars in
non-humanitarian aid was reportedly floated as a way of breaking the
deadlock and bringing the junta to the negotiating table.
But diplomats in Yangon said the media reports were "ahead of the game"
had been "hugely damaging" to the ongoing discussions.