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Myanmar holds roundtable discussion on ASEAN community realization

(Xinhua)

13:28, February 22, 2012

YANGON, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar has held a roundtable discussion in Nay Pyi Taw on improving status of implementation of ASEAN Community and preparations for ASEAN chairmanship role to be taken by the country in 2014, official media reported Wednesday.

The roundtable, held at the Foreign Office on Tuesday, was attended by Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin and visiting Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, said the New Light of Myanmar.

Senior officials of related ministries expounded on realizations on ASEAN political, security, economic, social and cultural communities and section wise preparations for year 2014, it said.

At the roundtable, Surin discussed possible opportunities and challenges with respect to Myanmar's taking chairmanship role of ASEAN in 2014, the report added.

Invited by U Wunna Maung Lwin, Surin is currently making a special visit in Myanmar to monitor the country's latest development after the new government assumed office in March 2011.

Surin, who arrived in Yangon on Sunday for a five-day visit to Myanmar, had met with President U Thein Sein and the two discussed matters relating to political development of the country and work programs for future cooperation in the region.

In a meeting with Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin, Surin discussed with the latter matters on the progress of ASEAN Community Building, ASEAN Secretariat's contribution towards Myanmar's endeavors on taking the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014 and ASEAN's call for the lifting of unilateral sanctions on Myanmar.

In another meeting with Myanmar Minister of Information and Culture U Kyaw Hsan, the two sides discussed promotion of cooperation in cultural and media sectors between Myanmar and ASEAN, implementation of rural areas development tasks with eight poverty alleviation measures, preparations for successful holding of SEA Games 2013 and measures for a greater transparency in the April by-elections.

Surin is scheduled to make a field trip to once-cyclone-hit Ayeyawaddy region on Wednesday and assess progress of Nargis recovery efforts.

Before wrapping his visit on Thursday, Surin is also scheduled to meet the international humanitarian community and representatives of local civil society as well as Aung San Suu Kyi, chairwoman of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).

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