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Myanmar commits to ASEAN community building: leader
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12:30, August 08, 2007

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Myanmar top leader Senior-General Than Shwe said on Wednesday that his country is committed to ASEAN Community building.

Than Shwe, chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, made the pledge in his message on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Myanmar's joining of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 40th anniversary of the ASEAN and the ASEAN Day.

Than Shwe urged Myanmar people to work together with peoples of other ASEAN member countries to realize the ASEAN Vision and try to achieve the ASEAN Community building so that ASEAN Community will maintain as a cohesive and vibrant community at the heart of dynamic Asia and the world.

Than Shwe said Myanmar's joining of the grouping in 1997 showed "the solidarity with its Southeast Asian brethren with the expectation of cooperation and contributing to regional peace and stability, prosperity and development in the region and beyond".

Reviewing on ASEAN and on Myanmar's contribution and benefit, he stressed the need to upgrade mutual relationship to a higher level by integrating each other into an ASEAN Community envisaged in ASEAN Vision 2020.

With confidence in ASEAN Community building, he underlined ASEAN's decision to fast track its integration by 2015 instead of 2020 at the 12th ASEAN Summit held in Cebu, the Philippines early this year.

On ASEAN's active engagement with its dialogue partners and other regional organizations, he said the move has promoted a culture of cooperation rather than confrontation.

He emphasized that Myanmar has been able to promote its foreign policy goals in interacting mutually beneficial ways with the dialogue partners.

On the drafting of ASEAN Charter in accordance with the Cebu Declaration on the blueprint of the charter, he said the adoption of the Charter, the most significant milestone in ASEAN's 40-year history, will serve as a firm foundation in achieving the ASEAN community and also confer a legal personality to ASEAN to fulfill the aspiration and shared value of every member country and ASEAN as a whole.

He said Myanmar's joining of the grouping has effectively promoted trade and investment relations with other ASEAN countries which play a most important role in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow.

He expressed belief that with the realization of ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, the peoples of ASEAN will benefit most from the economic integration.

He praised ASEAN's resilience and success in meeting various challenges and threats with the cooperation of its partners during the past 40 years, citing the Asian financial crisis, haze problem, Tsunami, outbreak of SARS and avian influenza.

"Our way of working in solidarity, consultation, consensus, mutual respect and non-interference is our strength," the Myanmar leader said.

Source: Xinhua

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