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Singapre says: "Burma is not ready
- Subject: Singapre says: "Burma is not ready
- From: dvb@xxxxx
- Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 09:53:00
Subject: Singapre says: "Burma is not ready to join ASEAN"
31Oct96 SINGAPORE: BURMA NOT READY FOR ASEAN MEMBERSHIP - SINGAPORE. 12:26 GMT
SINGAPORE, Oct 31 (Reuter) - Burma is not yet ready for membership in the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok
Tong said on Thursday.
Goh was speaking in an interview for television made available to Reuters by
Burma has been pressing for admission next year.
Goh said: "I don't think Myanmar is quite ready in the near future to adopt
all the obligations of being a member of ASEAN."
Asked whether it was likely Burma would be the last of three applicants to
join ASEAN, Goh replied: "I think it is possible. I would not know myself at
this stage how Myanmar (Burma) would rank against the Laotians or the
Cambodians. But it is possible that Myanmar may be the last member to join
Burma, Laos and Cambodia are candidates for membership in ASEAN, which now
groups Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and
Goh said the answer to whether Burma was ready to join ASEAN depended on its
ability to assume certain obligations like the ASEAN Free Trade Area.
Although Burma is under fire from some Western nations and non-governmental
organisations over human rights issues, Goh said Singapore did not interfere
in neighbours' domestic policies.
(c) Reuters Limited 1996
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