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KAKARTA/6 February 2012—The Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, will pay a special visit to Myanmar on 20-21 February 2012, after an invitation from the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, U Wunna Maung Lwin. Dr Surin encouraged Myanmar to “seize the moment to mobilise its collective efforts to promote continuing peace, stability and prosperity in Myanmar and ASEAN”.
In his invitation to the Secretary-General, Minister Lwin noted that ASEAN’s efforts to promote economic development, peace and stability has received support from the international community. He commended the ASEAN Secretariat for playing a crucial and decisive role in implementing ASEAN projects and activities, and praised the Secretary-General for his stewardship in leading the ASEAN Secretariat, and for his active role in the post-Cyclone Nargis rehabilitation and reconstruction in Myanmar.
The Secretary-General is expected to meet with key players responsible for ASEAN Community-building and to witness developments in the country. The Minister recalled that the ASEAN Leaders, at 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali last year, had decided to accord Myanmar the Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014. Minister Lwin also wanted the Secretary-General to see Myanmar’s post-Nargis rehabilitation and post-reconstruction activities.
Dr Surin will also have discussions with government officials in Nay Pyi Taw on the country’s preparations for Myanmar’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014.
In accepting the invitation Dr Surin Pitsuwan informed the Foreign Minister that the positive changes in Myanmar “have been welcomed enthusiastically throughout ASEAN and the world. They demonstrate the tremendous goodwill that exists for Myanmar and ASEAN. This goodwill can only reinforce the spirit of unity and cooperation among ASEAN Member States and the rest of the world”.
Dr Surin said that his visit will give him an opportunity to listen, learn and understand the aspirations of the government and the people of Myanmar and to identify how ASEAN can continue to play a role in the country’s new developments. (Ref: ASEAN Secretariat)
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