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Malaysia PM: Be Patient with Burma - 2003-10-09


Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has called on the international community to be patient as it pushes for democratic reforms in military-ruled Burma.

Speaking in Bali, Indonesia Wednesday on the final day of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting, Mr. Mahathir also criticized the use of sanctions to pressure Burma to change.

Mr. Mahathir went on to say he had no regrets about playing a key role in admitting Burma into ASEAN in 1997.

During the summit in Bali this week, ASEAN leaders welcomed Burma's so-called "road map" to democracy that was unveiled in late August.

But a U.S. State Department spokesman said no "road map" to democracy can be meaningful without the full cooperation of Burma's opposition.

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was detained by the country's military rulers in May. She remains under house arrest.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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