Monday, December 12, 2011

Indonesian minister notes Burma’s ‘sense of change’

Monday, 12 December 2011 17:31 Mizzima News

Bali, Indonesia (Mizzima) – The Indonesian government has been engaging with Naypyitaw and feels positive about the changes taking place in Burma.

This was the message from Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, who told Mizzima at a recent democracy forum in Indonesia that his country was seeking to collaborate with Burma’s new government.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa. Photo: Mizzima

Speaking on the sidelines of the 4th Bali Democracy Forum held on Dec. 8-9 in Nusa Dua, Bali, the minister said he supported the changes taking place.

Natalegawa said that what was important was what the people in Burma think about the recent changes.

“From the perspective of a person outside the country, I get a sense of change in Myanmar, and even very hopeful and positive signs of change,” he told Mizzima.

 “I am sure like Indonesia there will be ups and downs, it is a process, but we wish Myanmar well and reiterate this is a process we strongly support.”

He stressed that “a strong, democratic Myanmar will contribute to the peace and stability of Southeast Asia.”

Natalegawa said he would shortly return to Burma.

“To enhance bilateral relations between Myanmar and Indonesia, we have a meeting, and we will be identifying new areas of collaboration,” he said. “It is a continuation of my most recent visit two or three weeks ago, and I will be especially looking for collaboration in the area of capacity building on promotion of democracy and human rights, as well as trade an investment. And I will also be hoping to see Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.”

The forum drew participants from a number of countries who discussed the development of democracy. Established by Indonesia in 2008, The Bali Democracy Forum brings together heads of state and foreign ministers from countries across Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific.

According to the forum, attendance this year increased from 62 to 82 countries with attendees including the president of Indonesia, the president of Sri Lanka, the Sultan of Brunei, and the prime ministers of Bangladesh and Timor Leste.

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