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Malaysia: Burma Should Not Be Excluded From ASEAN Summit - 2003-09-11


Malaysia has rejected a call for Burma to be excluded from a summit of Southeast Asian leaders next month if the military government does not release democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar told reporters today (Thursday) that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) would get nowhere by freezing Burma out of the annual summit in Bali, Indonesia next month.

The minister said isolating Burma would not be productive and that the military rulers should be encouraged and brought into constructive engagement.

Malaysia's opposition Democratic Action Party called Wednesday for the exclusion of Burma from the ASEAN summit if the military rulers fail to release Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners by the end of the month.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said two months ago that Burma could eventually be expelled from ASEAN if the government fails to free the democracy leader.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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