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Burma Replaces Foreign Minister - 2004-09-19


Burma's military government has replaced Foreign Minister Win Aung and his deputy Khin Maung Win, saying they and other officials were "allowed to retire."

State media reported Saturday that Major-General Nyan Win will become Foreign Minister, with Colonel Maung Myint as his deputy. The military government also replaced the country's transport and agriculture ministers.

Official media gave no explanation for the changes.

The move comes two and a half weeks before a summit of European and Southeast Asian leaders due to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam.

European governments originally threatened to pull out of the summit if Burma were allowed to attend -- citing the military goverment's continued detention of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

However, the parties struck a compromise allowing Burma to attend if it sends a lower-level delegation than other countries.

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

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