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THE NATION: China pushes for Pak
- Subject: THE NATION: China pushes for Pak
- From: suriya@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 20:06:00
China pushes for
Pakistan to be involved in
MANILA -- China is pushing for the
inclusion of Pakistan in security dialogue at
the Asean Regional Forum (ARF) after
India's nuclear tests, Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) officials
China broached the idea on Wednesday
during an informal dinner, but other
participants in a three-day ARF senior
officials meeting in Manila were lukewarm
to the proposal, Asean sources said.
India is a participant in the forum, which
also involves Brunei, Indonesia, Laos,
Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines,
Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia,
Papua New Guinea, Australia, Canada,
China, the European Union (EU), Japan,
New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the
Senior officials at the ARF meeting
yesterday criticised India for its recent
nuclear tests, calling the tests inconsistent
with India's commitments to ARF's principle
''The discussions were very heavy,'' said
one Asean official.
Among the delegations which voiced
concerns over the nuclear testing were
Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand,
the EU, and the United States, he said.
''The delegations noted that when India
joined ARF, she promised to abide by all of
the principles of ARF and one of the
principles of ARF is nonproliferation,'' said
another Asean official.
But officials at the meeting backtracked
yesterday from issuing a statement
opposing the nuclear tests, saying they
would leave it to a meeting of their foreign
ministers in July.
Philippine Undersecretary of Foreign
Affairs Lauro Baja said no statement will be
issued until then. Foreign ministers of the
nine members of Asean will meet in Manila
on July 27.
Meanwhile, 11 countries have expressed
their wish to be admitted into ARF but
senior officials said they would prefer to
concentrate on East Asia.
Baja, chairman of the meeting, said that
senior officials had reached a consensus
on endorsing Mongolia's early
''We will recommend to the ARF ministers
the admission of Mongolia ... they will make
the final decision,'' Baja said.
The Nation, Kyodo