||14 August 2009
UN, EU gemstones sanctions against Myanmar will affect Thailand
Thailand will disagree if the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) imposes sanctions against Myanmar gemstone trading to pressure the military regime as it would affect Thailand, state news agency TNA quoted Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva as saying.
Both the UN and the EU are reportedly considering separately to impose sanctions against Myanmar after a court sentenced opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to an additional 18 months of house detention.
The sanction on arms sale would be supported by Thailand, but gemstone trading would definitely harm a spectrum of the Thai economy, the prime minister said.
Abhisit said he had already raised this issue with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she was in Phuket to attend the Association of Southeast Asean Nations (Asean) ministerial meeting, and she understood Thailand's concern over the matter.
The premier said he believed that the sanctions, if imposed, would not cover the gemstone trade, and he is confident that the UN would make a reasonable decision on any resolution.
He added that Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kasit Piromya, in the coming three to four days, will discuss the issue with Asean’s foreign ministers.
Abhisit said he would go to Manila Friday and would discuss the issue with Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Thailand, as Asean chair, on Wednesday issued the regional bloc's statement saying the regional organisation felt “deep disappointment” that Nobel laureate and democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to another 18 months of house detention.
The statement also said the chair wishes to reiterate the calls made by the Asean oreign Ministers at the 42nd Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the 16th Asean Regional Forum held in July in Phuket, calling for the immediate release of all those under detention, including Suu Kyi, with a view to enabling them to participate in the 2010 general elections.
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