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Malaysian FM: Burma Trip Was Success Despite Not Meeting Suu Kyi


Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar says he considers his recent brief trip to Burma a success, even though he was denied a meeting with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In an interview with a Malaysian newspaper "New Sunday Times" published today Sunday, Syed Hamid says Burma's military leaders gave him a list of actions they would take towards restoring democracy. He did not say what those actions are.

But Syed Hamid says he regrets that Burmese authorities refused to let him meet Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest. He says he told his hosts that allowing a meeting would have represented a step towards democratic reform.

During the two-day trip last week representing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Syed Hamid met with Burmese Prime Minister General Soe Win and Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win.

Malaysia's top diplomat left Rangoon Friday after arriving in Burma a day earlier. He denied reports that he cut short his visit, saying he departed after completing his mission.

Syed Hamid made the trip to Burma as a special envoy of ASEAN. The visit was meant to gather information on Burma's progress toward democratic reforms and reconciliation with the opposition.

Burmese officials agreed to invite Syed Hamid in January, but postponed the visit until last week.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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