Cambodia urges Myanmar to continue Suu Kyi talks
- From: Chim <ChimS1@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2007 10:47:16 -0800 (PST)
Fri Nov 30, 9:12 AM ET
PHNOM PENH (AFP) - Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday urged
Myanmar's junta leaders to continue fledgling talks with detained pro-
democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a government spokesman said.
Hun Sen met with Myanmar's Prime Minister Thein Sein in Phnom Penh and
told him that dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi should continue "for the
sake of both sides," according to spokesman Khieu Kanharith.
"Prime Minister Hun Sen supports meetings between the Myanmar
government and Aung San Suu Kyi and encourages (the ruling generals)
to have more meetings for the sake of both sides," he told reporters.
Aung San Suu Kyi held a third meeting in Yangon on November 19 with
Myanmar Labour Minister Aung Kyi, who has been appointed by the junta
to handle contacts with the 62-year-old Nobel peace prize winner.
Aung Kyi was appointed as a liaison in the wake of global outrage
against the regime following its bloody crackdown on peaceful protests
in September. At least 15 people were killed and 3,000 arrested in the
The September violence led the United States and Europe to tighten
sanctions against Myanmar, which was already under economic
restrictions due to the junta's human rights abuses and the detention
of Aung San Suu Kyi.
The pro-democracy icon has been under house arrest for 12 of the last
But Cambodia rejected the sanctions on Myanmar, saying such measures
were only hurting its people.
"Economic sanctions will never hurt government leaders. They only hurt
people," Khieu Kanharith told reporters following the meeting between
Hun Sen and Thein Sein, the number four in Myanmar's military.
Thein Sein's three-day official visit, which began Friday, overlaps
with that of UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who is in Cambodia as part of a
regional trip to assess the positions of Myanmar's neighbours after
the junta's crackdown.
But Thein Sein and Gambari, the UN secretary general's special
representative to Myanmar, did not meet Friday, Khieu Kanharith said.
Cambodia maintains close diplomatic ties with Myanmar, which has been
under military rule since 1962 and is one of the most isolated nations
in the world.
Hun Sen last visited there in May for trade and tourism talks.
Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said Thursday sanctions against
Myanmar's ruling generals would not force the country towards
democracy, following his talks with Gambari.
Hor Namhong said that the international community should instead offer
more aid to the impoverished nation.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Cambodia
is a member, has come under increasing pressure to deal with its most
unruly member since the unrest broke out two months ago.
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