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Thai PM Thaksin: Burma Will Attend 'Road Map' Meeting - 2003-12-08


Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says Burma will attend next week's Thai-sponsored international meeting to discuss Rangoon's so-called "road map" to democracy.

Mr. Thaksin said today (Monday) the Burmese understand what Thailand is trying to do. Burma said last week it would refuse to attend the December 15th forum, if it faces criticism from other participants.

Thailand has invited at least nine other countries to the meeting, to allow Burma to explain its plans for reform. The Thai government says it hopes the forum will be the start of a process in which Burma implements the seven-point road map.

Burma's Prime Minister Khin Nyunt announced the plan in August, but gave no timetable for its implementation. Political progress in Burma has been at a standstill since a bloody confrontation between pro-democracy demonstrators and government supporters last May in the northern part of the country.

Since that confrontation, many of the nation's top opposition leaders, including Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, have been in detention or under house arrest.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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