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Burma Refuses to Back Down over ASEAN Chairmanship


Burma's foreign minister says his government will not be swayed by pressure to give up its turn at leading the Association of Southeast Asian Nations next year.

Nyan Win, in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta for an Asian-African summit, told reporters Thursday that the decision is Burma's to make. Western nations have said Burma should not be allowed to chair ASEAN, which includes hosting its annual summit, because of its poor human rights record and delays in adopting democratic reforms.

Meanwhile, Thai foreign minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon told reporters he feels the issue will be resolved in what he called "a very good way," because, he said, Burma had assured other ASEAN members that the unity of the organization is a priority.

Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.

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