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Myanmar hopes to usher in democracy

New Delhi, Wed, 25 Jan 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Jan 25 (ANI): Myanmar's Foreign Minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, on Wednesday said his country was moving ahead with democratic reforms and expected to see concrete and tangible steps from the western powers to ease its two-decade-long international isolation.


"The United States and the European Union have expressed recognition and support of the democratic reforms undertaken by the government of Myanmar," said Lwin, while delivering a lecture at the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA) on 'Myanmar: A Country in Transition to Democracy' here.


" Now, there are signs that they are willing to review and reconsider to lift the sanctions and restrictions that they have unilaterally imposed upon Myanmar in the last 20 years. We welcome all these positive responses and hope to see concrete and tangible results as soon as possible," he added.


Lwin urged that international community for assisting in Myanmar's nation building process.


"At this critical juncture of national transition, the international community can best assist Myanmar by providing encouragement and support. We are willing and ready to work hand-in-hand with the international community in our nation building endeavors, as well as for the development, peace, and stability of the world," he said.


Lwin said that there would be no derailment in their path to democracy and the reforms being undertaken by the government were irreversible.


"Myanmar has entered into a new era. The new constitutional government is pursuing a national goal of building a modern, developed and democratic nation in accordance with the will of the people. The reform process that we have started is irreversible. There will be no turning back or derailment in the road to democracy," he said.


Asserting that Myanmar is working hard towards maintaining good ties with both emerging global giants-India and China, Lwin said: "So, we have a very good and historical and traditional relations with both of the countries. You can choose friends, but you cannot choose neighbours. So this is the story of Myanmar. So we have to be in good relation with both India and China."


Meanwhile, reacting to Myanmar's role in building parts of ASEAN highway, Lwin said that the country is working closely with both India and Thailand in this regard.


"(Link to) ASEAN highway and to the highway that leads to China also, so it is a very important highway. So we are discussing and cooperating very closely with India and Thailand," said Lwin.


The ASEAN or Asian Highway (AH) project is a cooperative project among various countries in Asia and Europe aimed at improving connectivity systems in the region. (ANI)


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