Singapore, Myanmar to improve air links

March 30, 2005 at 8:10 PM

YANGON, Myanmar, March 30 (UPI) -- Singapore and Myanmar officials have agreed to explore ways to improve air links between their countries to strengthen bilateral relations.

The agreement might manifest itself by increased frequency of flights or a hike in the number of destinations. Singapore Airlines' regional carrier, SilkAir, now flies to Yangon about 10 times a week and Myanmar Airways International makes the trip to Singapore three times weekly.

"SilkAir is interested to grow its destinations in Myanmar," a Singapore official said, and Mandalay "looks the most interesting."

The leaders also discussed political developments in Myanmar, such as the democratization process, Business Times reported.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said political developments in Myanmar are "a matter that only the Myanmar people can decide." However, his spokesman added, "In an inter-dependent world, developments in one Asean country could impact on Asean as a whole."

There has been some concern among the international community that Myanmar's chairmanship of Asean next year might put the region under pressure from the United States and the European Union to improve Myanmar's human rights practices.

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