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Malaysian PM Says Burma Does Not Pose Security Threat


Malaysia's prime minister has praised Russia and China for vetoing a resolution at the United Nations Security Council that would have criticized Burma.

Malaysia's national news agency Bernama quotes Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as saying the vetoes were a matter of principle.

He said the Security Council is not the proper place to discuss Burma because the country is neither a security threat nor has a security impact on the region.

Mr. Abdullah spoke Saturday in the Philippines, where the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-ASEAN is holding a summit. He said ASEAN leaders agreed that Burma's government should continue to work to bring about democracy.

The United States says it is deeply disappointed that the UN Security Council did not adopt the resolution against Burma Friday.

A State Department spokesman Tom Casey said he believes the proposed resolution would have been a powerful tool to help what he called the long-suffering people of Burma.

The resolution urged Burma's military government to release all political prisoners, speed up progress toward democracy, and stop attacks against ethnic minorities.

China and Russia said the problems in Burma are being addressed by other UN bodies.

Burma's military has ruled the country since 1962 and ignored a 1990 landslide election victory by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Since then, Aung San Suu Kyi has spent most of her time in prison or under house arrest.

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