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Malaysia & Germany talk over Burma

 .c The Associated Press 

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 23 (Kyodo) -- Malaysian Foreign Minister Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi and visiting German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel agreed Wednesday to
expand the scope of their bilateral relations. 

Abdullah and Kinkel concurred that bilateral relations, which had focused on
trade and economic cooperation, should be expanded to include culture and

Kinkel suggested that the two countries conclude a cultural agreement to
boost exchanges in those fields, according to Abdullah. 

They also discussed the coming admission of Myanmar to the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

The European Union, of which Germany is a member, has voiced concerns about
political suppression and human rights abuses in Myanmar and has misgivings
about ASEAN plans to admit the country as a new member along with Cambodia
and Laos for fear such a move might bolster the ruling junta's grip on power.

Aside from Malaysia, ASEAN groups Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines,
Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. 

Abdullah said he also called for bilateral cooperation with Germany in the
reconstruction of civil war-ravaged Bosnia-Herzegovina, formerly part of

As an Islamic country, Malaysia supports the Muslim-led Bosnian government. 

AP-NY-01-22-97 1909EST