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Indonesia: Burma to Resolve Aung San Suu Kyi Issue by October - 2003-07-30


Burma has told Indonesia that the stand-off over the detention of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be resolved by October.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda told reporters today (Wednesday) he had received assurances from Burma that the matter will be worked out before a summit of Southeast Asian nations in October.

Mr. Wirajuda spoke on the sidelines of an Asia-Africa ministerial meeting in the city of Bandung in West Java province. He did not elaborate, but Indonesia has been trying to persuade Burma's military junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi.

Meanwhile, Philippine Foreign Secretary Blas Ople said he is disappointed with the continued detention of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi. He said (Wednesday) he reiterated his government's appeal for her release during a meeting in Manila with Burmese Deputy Foreign Minister Khin Maung Win.

On Tuesday, Burma's foreign minister criticized U.S. economic sanctions imposed against his country. Foreign Minister Win Aung said the sanctions, which President Bush signed into law on Monday, will hurt the Burmese people.

Burmese Foreign Minister Win Aung said Tuesday that the 1991 Nobel peace laureate is being held for her own protection at a government guest house and is in good health.

Meanwhile, the London-based rights group Amnesty International urged Burma Tuesday to allow an impartial investigation into a clash between supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi and pro government demonstrators that resulted in her arrest May 30th. Rangoon's military government has blamed Aung San Suu Kyi for the incident.

The rights group also called for her immediate and unconditional release.

Later, Britain's junior foreign minister Michael O'Brien denounced her detention as "simply not acceptable." He said he welcomed Monday's news from the International Committee for the Red Cross that Aung San Suu Kyi appears to be in good health.

A Red Cross official was granted access to the Nobel peace prize laureate Monday.

Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy won a resounding victory in national elections in 1990, but the military government never allowed them to take power. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

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

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