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Indonesian President to visit to Myanmar

Officials from both countries have been 'actively in consultation' to set up a date for Prez Yudhoyono's visit to Myanmar next month.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2006 12:39 IST

Indonesia's president will visit Myanmar in February, his spokesman said on Thursday, confirming a trip officials have said would see him share his country's shift to democracy with the junta there.

Officials from both countries have been "actively in consultation" to set up a firm date for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's visit next month to the military-ruled nation, spokesman Dino Pati Jalal told the agency.

Earlier this month, Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda urged Myanmar to take "tangible" steps towards democracy and make good on its promises to reform.

The minister said then that Yudhoyono or a special envoy planned to visit Myanmar in order to recount to the junta how Indonesia underwent its transition from authoritarianism to democracy.

Under Suharto, who resigned under pressure in 1998, Indonesia was ruled with an iron fist for more than 30 years.

Myanmar is holding opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, and her National League of Democracy has been blocked from taking office despite winning elections in 1990.

Jalal said the Myanmar visit would be part of a trip also taking in Brunei and Cambodia, as Yudhoyono, who was elected in 2004, seeks to visit all members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The United Nations, the European Union and the United States have all derided a national convention proposed by Myanmar's junta to help set up a future constitution as part of a national "road map" to democracy.

First Published: Jan 19, 2006 12:22 IST