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No Change in policy on Myanmar desp

Subject: No Change in policy on Myanmar despite unrest.

		No change in policy on Myanmar despite unrest 

     BANGKOK -- There will be no change in Thailand's policy towards 
     Myanmar despite recent unrest there, Thai
     Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh has said. 

     He said he wanted to see Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia join Asean "as 
     soon as possible" and that he planned
     to visit Yangon late next month or in early March. 

     "I envisage an Asean comprising all 10 countries of South-east Asia, 
     an Asean-10 that will derive its
     cohesiveness not only from shared interests, but also from a shared 
     identity and shared aspirations among its
     people," he told the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand on 
     Tuesday night. 

     Asean had agreed to allow Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar to join the 
     grouping as full members at the same time,
     but did not specify a time. 

     Gen Chavalit, who said he was a close friend of the military 
     government in Yangon, said Thailand would stick to
     the Asean policy of constructive engagement in dealing with Myanmar. 

     He said: "We are trying to do our best to make them understand what 
     other people are thinking about them." 

     He also said Thailand would work to strengthen the Asean Regional 
     Forum, a relatively new forum created as
     part of the annual foreign ministers meeting of Asean to discuss 
     security issues with major powers. He said in his
     written speech to the FCCT: "We will work to develop the Asean 
     Regional Forum into an effective mechanism
     for confidence-building, through greater openness and regular 
     exchanges among political and military leaders in
     the region. 

     [Jaunary 16, 1997, The Straits Times].