Report: Myanmar protests worry ASEAN

Sept. 26, 2007 at 2:53 AM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Widening protests against the military regime in Myanmar are causing concern among other southeast Asian nations, it was reported Wednesday.

“We are worried about it," Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, foreign minister of Malaysia, which is a founding member of the 40-year-old Association of Southeast Nations, said in New York. "Although this is an internal situation, you cannot isolate your internal crisis from affecting ASEAN."

He told the Malaysia Star Myanmar’s military junta must show it is moving toward democratization, the newspaper said. The protests in Myanmar, now spearheaded by the country’s Buddhist monks, began as demonstrations against steep increase in fuel prices in August.

Syed Hamid, who is in New York for the U.N. General Assembly session, was quoted as telling Malaysian reporters any aggressive move by the Myanmar regime against the protesters would be counterproductive.

"We do not want to interfere, yet we want them to resolve the problem," he said.

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