A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 1 December 2007

Myanmar PM Visits Cambodia Amid Pressure Over Protest Crackdown

Pictures: Hun Sen (L) and Thein Sein (R) and Cambodian and Burmese well-wishers on Thein Sein's arrival.

Myanmar PM visits Cambodia amid pressure over protest crackdown
Fri Nov 30, 1:42 AM ET
PHNOM PENH (AFP) - Myanmar's Prime Minister Thein Sein arrived in Cambodia Friday, a day after the government rejected sanctions against the military-ruled state in talks with the United Nations.
About 1,000 students and government workers waving Myanmar flags greeted the premier as he started his three-day official visit, during which he will hold discussions with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen.
Thein Sein's visit overlaps that of UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who is in Cambodia as part of a regional trip to assess the positions of Myanmar's neighbours after the junta's suppression of pro-democracy protests there.
The two are unlikely to meet, said Cambodian foreign minister Hor Namhong, adding that the situation in Myanmar had been improving since the junta's bloody crackdown in September.
Troops killed at least 15 people and arrested about 3,000, drawing international condemnation and pressure for increased sanctions.
"We are not going to raise anything. We think the situation is moving ahead ... what happened is in the past," Hor Namhong told reporters as Thein Sein arrived.
Hor Namhong said on Thursday following talks with Gambari, the UN secretary general's special representative to Myanmar, that sanctions against Myanmar's ruling generals would not force the country towards democracy.
He said that the international community should instead offer more aid to the impoverished nation.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Cambodia is a member, has come under increasing pressure to deal with its most unruly member since the unrest broke out two months ago.
"All the ASEAN countries will support the mission of the United Nations and will push the Myanmar government to move forward," Hor Namhong said.
"Now there is no more crisis," he added.

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