Malaysia still engaging Myanmar for visit date: Minister
Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said Malaysia is still trying to firm a date to visit Myanmar after his January trip was cancelled.Updated: Feb 20, 2006 17:50 IST
Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar on Monday said Malaysia is still trying to firm a date to visit Myanmar after his January trip was cancelled.
"(It is) ongoing. What needs to be done is being done," Syed Hamid told reporters when asked about the progress of talks between Malaysia and Myanmar to set a date for a landmark visit.
Singapore and the Philippines last week agreed that a proposed visit by Syed Hamid to Myanmar should take place soon, the Singapore foreign ministry said.
Syed Hamid said that he would undertake his visit to Myanmar under a veil of secrecy.
"You will hear it when we have done it," he said. "All these need to be done quietly and with a cool head because once you are subjected to media pressure it will be more difficult."
Under pressure from the international community, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at its annual meeting in December signalled its impatience with fellow member Myanmar.
It reached agreement with Yangon to allow Syed Hamid to visit the country as an ASEAN envoy to check on the progress of democracy.
The visit was expected to take place in January but Myanmar said it was too busy moving its capital to receive the Malaysian minister.
ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Myanmar's junta brutally crushed pro-democracy demonstrations in 1988 and two years later rejected the result of national elections won by the party of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
In November, it extended her house arrest by another six months. The Nobel Peace prizewinner has already spent more than 10 of the last 16 years under house arrest.
First Published: Feb 20, 2006 17:50 IST