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Burmese PM Visits Bangladesh To Strengthen Ties - 2004-04-04


Burmese Prime Minister Khin Nyunt has begun a three-day visit to Bangladesh aimed at increasing trade and economic cooperation between the two nations.

Bangla Prime Minister Khaleda Zia greeted General Khin Nyunt Sunday when he arrived at the airport in the capital,Dhaka. This is Khin Nyunt's first trip to Bangladesh since he became Burma's prime minister in August.

The two leaders are expected to discuss is a plan for a road link between their countries, which share a 260-kilometer border. The proposed road would connect Bangladesh's southern town of Guandung with Burma's Sittwe town.

Ms. Zia and General Khin Nyunt also are expected to negotiate the repatriation of tens of thousands of Burmese Muslim refugees known as Rohingyas, who have been in Bangladesh since the early 1990's.

The exodus of some 250,000 Rohingyas strained relations between Dhaka and Rangoon. Ties between the two countries improved after most of the refugees returned to Burma under a United Nations repatriation program, but an estimated 20,000 refugees still remain in Bangladesh.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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