Malaysia calls for talks in Myanmar

Oct. 7, 2007 at 8:12 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- The Malaysian government is calling on the military government of Myanmar to have unconditional talks with pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

The call by Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar comes at the end of weeks of protests against Myanmar’s military regime, during which more than 1,000 people were arrested, including more than 100 Buddhist monks, and as many as 10,000 people were detained and interrogated, the BBC reported Sunday.

Myanmar military leader Gen. Than Shwe agreed to talks with the activist, who has been imprisoned or under house arrest almost continuously since 1989, only under the condition that she cease her calls for international sanctions on the country.

The United States, Britain and France have voiced support for sanctions against the regime, but Malaysia and some of the country’s other Asian neighbors have said they oppose such measures.

Malaysia's stance reflects the government’s concern it’s neighbor’s political crisis will deepen if the government and opposition do not begin negotiations, the BBC reported.

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