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Malaysian PM Plays Down Plan To Oppose Burma As ASEAN Chair


Malaysia's prime minister has played down a plan by some officials to block Burma's chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the government still favors constructive engagement with Rangoon to encourage democratic reforms.

Some Malaysian legislators had proposed blocking Burma from becoming chair of the regional group until it implements democratic reforms and releases pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest.

The prime minister said he would not interfere with the legislators efforts, but he said the government will follow whatever consensus decision is reached by ASEAN members.

Burma has introduced what it calls a "roadmap" to democracy, but the plan has been denounced as a sham by the international community.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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