M'sian, Thai leaders to hold talks on Burma
7:46pm Wed Jul 23rd, 2003
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his Thai counterpart Thaksin
Shinawatra will discuss the political crisis in Burma during talks
this weekend on the resort island of Langkawi, officials said today.
During the the two-day talks in Langkawi, which lies near the Thai-Malaysian
border, Thaksin (photo) will also meet with United Nations envoy
to Burma Razali Ismail, said Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai.
Razali, a former Malaysian diplomat, is the only outsider to have
seen Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi since she was taken
into detention in the wake of May 30 political violence.
"Razali will brief Thaksin on the problem and his meeting with
Aung San Suu Kyi and Razali wants to listen to Thaksin's ideas on
how to convince Burma's government to free her," Surakiart
Thailand has reportedly presented to Burma a "roadmap"
towards national reconciliation, which Surakiart plans to discuss
with his Burmese counterpart Win Aung when he visits Thailand later
this month for economic talks.
The international community has responded angrily to the democracy
activist's detention, with the United States and European Union
beefing up sanctions and Asean issuing an unprecedented call last
month for her release.
Mahathir warned on Sunday that Burma may as a last resort face expulsion
from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) grouping
if it continues defying world pressure to free the 1991 Nobel peace
The Thai government said in a statement today that Mahathir had
invited Thaksin to the weekend meeting in Langkawi.
The two leaders are expected to discuss other bilateral issues,
including overland transport links for passengers and perishable
goods, and plans to open new border checkpoints and extend the operating
time of checkpoints.
They will witness the signing of two memorandums of understanding
on customs and the stock exchange. - AFP
Source : Malaysiakini