Myanmar to strive for peace in ASEAN region

Yangon, Oct 30 (IANS) Myanmar President U Thein Sein pledged that the country would strive to ensure peace and prosperity in the ASEAN region as it assumes ASEAN chairmanship in 2014, media reported Wednesday.

Addressing a coordination meeting on assuming the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Nay Pyi Taw Tuesday, the president stressed the importance of the duty of ASEAN chairmanship in 2014. He said it is the last year to take necessary preparations for the emergence of ASEAN Community by 2015, reported Xinhua.

He also emphasised the need to have a thorough understanding of duties and make constant efforts for serving duties actively, holding that it is in conformity with the independent, active and non-aligned foreign policy vested in Myanmar's constitution.

"Myanmar's current political, economic and administrative reforms are the good example to other ASEAN countries," he said, adding that Myanmar could practice its foreign policy in accordance with the constitution.

He also noted that taking ASEAN chairmanship is a golden opportunity for Myanmar to show its leading role and its dignity in the region and the world.

On Nov 17, 2011, ASEAN leaders approved Myanmar at a summit to take the ASEAN chair for 2014, which was handed over to Myanmar by Brunei on Oct 10 at the 23rd ASEAN Summit held in Bandar Seri Begawan.

It will be for the first time for Myanmar since its joining the grouping in 1997 to assume the regional leadership starting Jan 1, 2014.

During Myanmar's one-year term of the ASEAN chairmanship, more than 240 regional meetings are scheduled to be held in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan.