Timor Leste seeks 'strong' commercial ties with Myanmar


TIMOR Leste's president said yesterday his country is seeking to improve relations with Myanmar, including commercial ties.

"We want to increase our relations," President Jose Ramos-Horta said after meeting Myanmar's foreign minister during a visit that drew protests over human rights abuses in military-ruled Myanmar.

"This is in accordance with Timor-Leste policy, which aims to improve relations with neighbouring countries," Ramos-Horta said, referring to his country by its official name.

"And in order to improve commercial ties, Timor-Leste Foreign Minister Zacarias Da Costa will visit Myanmar with a business representative soon. The aim is to start a strong commercial relationship with Myanmar," he said.

Ramos-Horta said Timor Leste had also urged Myanmar's military regime to open a dialogue with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. "Timor-Leste's position, and also that of the international community and Asean, is that if the dialogue occurs, then it should aim to free her to become a regular citizen," he said.

The visit by Myanmar Foreign Minister was marked by protests, with clashes breaking out between police and human rights activists demanding Suu Kyi's release.

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