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ASEAN to decide on future visit to Myanmar

ASEAN will wait for an assessment report by Malaysian Foreign Minister on his recent fact-finding mission to the junta-ruled nation.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2006 16:09 IST

ASEAN will wait for an assessment report by Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar on his recent fact-finding mission to Myanmar before deciding whether to press for more such visits to the military-ruled country.

Thai Foreign Minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon said on Friday similar trips could be planned if the need arise, adding that the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' meeting in Bali on April 17 and 18 would deliberate Syed Hamid's report.

"We feel that if there is a need, we will (consider). The most important is for Myanmar to work closely with us, so that we could work with Myanmar," he said after briefing Bangkok-based foreign diplomats on the current political developments in Thailand.

Asked if ASEAN considers Syed Hamid's visit as a failure due to Yangon's refusal to let him meet the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy or its leader Aung San Suu Kyi who is under house arrest, Kantathi said ASEAN would wait for a report from Syed Hamid before making a decision.

"The visit itself, we will have to wait to hear the assessment from the Foreign Minister Syed Hamid," he said.

During his two-day trip on March 23 and 24, Syed Hamid met Prime Minister Gen Soe Win and Foreign Minister Nyan Win but did not meet the junta leader Senior General Than Shwe.

He also met the head of the junta-affiliated Union Solidarity and Development Association, Htay Oo, who is also Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation, and the vice chairman of the National Convention Convening Committee Aung Toe.

First Published: Apr 08, 2006 15:36 IST