Thu 12 Jan 2012
Filed under: ASEAN
Siem Reap — Foreign Ministers from the 10 member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are considering a group visit to Myanmar this year to learn the latest developments there, ASEAN sources told Kyodo News on Wednesday.
The sources said during the Foreign Ministers’ Retreat, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Haji Aman was saying a number of foreign leaders had visited Myanmar recently, including the foreign ministers from Britain and the United States while ASEAN has been silent.
In response, other “foreign ministers came up with an idea that ASEAN foreign ministers should go in group to Myanmar to show ASEAN’s centrality,” one source said.
Since the visit was raised, Myanmar Foreign Minister Maung Lwin said his country “would welcome the visit but will need to seek final approval on this visit from his boss,” the source added.
Maung Lwin suggested that since there will be an election in Myanmar in April, the visit should be made at a later date.
On the economic sanctions against Myanmar, the ASEAN foreign ministers agreed to reiterate their call for the lifting of the economic sanctions on Myanmar, “which would significantly contribute to the socio-economic development of Myanmar.”
The ministers also agreed to call for an end to the role of “good office” of the U.N. Secretary General on human rights in Myanmar, “taking into account Myanmar’s pledge to continue to work closely with the U.N.,” according to a press release issued after the meeting.
On the Korean Peninsula, Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said as chair of the ASEAN Regional Forum, Cambodia will try its best to offer North and South Korea to have a bilateral meeting in Cambodia in July.
When asked if Cambodia will offer a venue for the six-party talks on North Korean denuclearization, Hor Namhong said, “Since the meetings had always been taken place in China,
Cambodia is not competitive with China for this venue, but as a chair of ARF, Cambodia is to coordinate and offer anything convenient for all parties to resume their talks.”
The talks bring together officials from the Koreas, China, the United States, Russia and Japan.
ASEAN sources said Hor Namhong also briefed his ASEAN colleagues on his planned visit to Pyongyang before the ARF set for July in Phnom Penh.
Cambodia has had special relations with the North Korean regimes led by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
It is unknown if that will remain now that Kim Jong Un is leader.