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Malaysian Foreign Minister Plans Low-Key Visit to Burma


Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said today-Friday his planned visit to Burma will be done quietly so as not to interfere with the ruling junta.

Mr. Syed Hamid will represent the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the visit to assess the progress of reforms in isolated nation.

ASEAN issued a statement at the close of its annual summit this week calling for reforms to speed up and for the release of prisoners -- a reference to detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mr. Syed Hamid refused to discuss details of his plans, including the date and nature of the visit.

ASEAN has expressed embarrassment over Burma, which has been strongly criticized by many Western nations for its poor human rights record.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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