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DECISION NEW ASEAN MEMBERS BY JULY
- Subject: DECISION NEW ASEAN MEMBERS BY JULY
- From: moe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 18:15:00
Decision on new Asean members by July: Alatas
NEW DELHI -- Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said yesterday that
planned to decide by July whether to admit Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia
"We will have a meeting of foreign ministers of Asean some time before
July in order to
decide what to recommend to our heads of government," he said.
Mr Alatas, in India for a meeting of foreign ministers of the
(NAM), told Reuters that Asean leaders agreed at an informal summit in
year that Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia would be admitted simultaneously,
date was set.
The Asean ministers touched on the topic in discussions on Monday but
had made no
decision. But they agreed to hold a special meeting on May 31 in Kuala
make a final decision on the expansion of Asean's membership.
The timing for joining the group, especially for Myanmar, has become an
issue, with the
United States and the European Union putting pressure on the
military-run Myanmar to
improve its human-rights record before gaining entry into the grouping.
Asean has argued in the past that it makes its own decision on how and
when to admit
new members and Western powers cannot interfere in the process.
Asean had never imposed any conditions for membership. However, the special
meeting to discuss the expansion of membership indicates the existence
thorny issues that need to be sorted out before the entry of the new
members in Asean,
which celebrates its 30th year in August, diplomatic sources said. --