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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   12 January 2012

Asean Urges West to lift blockade on Myanmar

SIEM REAP, Jan 12, 2012 -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Wednesday agreed to encourage the United States and the European Union to end their sanctions against Myanmar, and expressed hope that the transition of leadership in North Korea would run smoothly, according to Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Surapong Tovichakchaikul.

Mr Surapong attended the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) Retreat in Siem Reap, Cambodia on Tuesday and Wednesday, the first ASEAN meeting under the chairmanship of Cambodia.

He told the media after the meeting that apart from following-up implementation of the 19th ASEAN Summit actions in Bali, the AMM Retreat also worked towards setting the direction to guide ASEAN this year under Cambodia’s chairmanship.

One issue widely discussed was the situation of Myanmar and Myanmar Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin reported on his country’s progress after the general election on November 7, 2010.

Mr Surapong said Myanmar has requested the ASEAN to encourage the United States and European Union to end economic sanctions against Myanmar as the situation in the country has totally changed and has made progress on reforms.

The Thai foreign minister said that the ASEAN foreign ministers proposed that Myanmar invite them to visit Naypyidaw, the capital, and he has taken this to discuss with his government. The Myanmar minister believed that the visit was most likely to take place after the by-election in April.

Mr Surapong said the ASEAN foreign ministers also discussed the situation in North Korea and expressed hope that the transition of the leader would run smoothly after the death of Kim Jong-il

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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