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IN: Burma Junta Leaders Visit

Subject: IN: Burma Junta Leaders Visit

/* Written  8:46 am  Dec 23, 1993 by DEBRA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:hrnet.asia-pac */
/* ---------- "IN: Burma Junta Leaders Visit" ---------- */
## Original in: DEBRA@OLN-F06
## author     : apakabar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
## date       : 20.12.93

Forwarded message:

Burmese leaders due to arrive in Indonesia

    JAKARTA, Dec 20 (Reuter) - A delegation of six ministers
    led by the effective head of Burma's ruling military
    council, Khin Nyunt, was due in Indonesia on Monday for
    a five-day visit, the embassy said.

    It said the delegation hoped to "promote friendly
    relations and economic cooperation between the two
    countries, and to exchange views on bilateral
    cooperation between the leaders of the two governments
    through closer personal contacts".

    The trip would be the second to an ASEAN country by
    Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt, the intelligence chief
    whom many see as the most powerful member of the ruling
    State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC).

    He visited Singapore in May as the Association of
    Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pursued a policy of
    seeking constructive engagement with Burma.

    Indonesian officials confirmed details of the
    delegation, which includes the ministers of foreign
    affairs, tourism, transport, national planning,
    information and communications.

    There was little fanfare about the visit, partly because
    Indonesia did not want to be tainted by Burma's pariah
    status in the West, officials said.

    Diplomats and officials said that while both sides hoped
    to profit from increased economic exchanges, they had
    differing motives for wanting to improve ties.

    Jakarta under President Suharto hopes to boost its image
    as an international mediator by nudging Burma into
    reform and bringing it back into the world community.

    Burma hopes to win friends in its battle against Western
    ire and U.N. censure. It has been ostracised since its
    1988 massacre of protesters and a subsequent crackdown
    on opposition figures, including Nobel Prize winner Aung
    San Suu Kyi.

    Burmese diplomats said Khin Nyunt and members of the
    delegation would meet Suharto. Trips had also been
    planned to a state aircraft factory in Bandung, they

    ASEAN members Thailand and Singapore have fostered
    closer ties with Burma but have expressed concerns about
    human rights.

Jeremy Wagstaff, Reuters Indonesia.
Voice: (62-21) 384-6364..
Fax: (62-21) 344-8404.
InterNet: jwagstaff@xxxxxxxxxxxx