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Philippines FM to Visit Burma Next Week


Philippines foreign secretary Alberto Romulo is expected to try to meet with Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi when he visits Burma next week.

Romulo told a Philippine newspaper he travels to Burma at the invitation of the Burmese military government.

He added that the Philippine government has always pushed for democratic reform in Burma. He said the release of Aung San Suu Kyi is part of that plan.

The Philippines takes over chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, which has a policy of what it called "constructive engagement" with Burma in hopes of persuading the government to modify its policies and release Aung San Suu Kyi.

The United States and European Union have tried the opposite tack, imposing economic sanctions to pressure Burma to change its ways.

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