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Hun Sen meets with top Myanmar official

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Khin Aung Myint, a Myanmar parliamentarian, attends a press conference in Yangon in 2005.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and the President of Myanmar’s Parliament Khin Aung Myint pledged positive bilateral relations during a closed-door meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh.

“Hun Sen has asked Khin Aung Myint to continue the good cooperation that the two countries have enjoyed on every issue,” Hun Sen’s personal spokesman Eang Sophalleth told reporters after yesterday’s  meeting at the Peace Palace.

Sophalleth also said the two leaders discussed improving ties between Siem Reap and Bagan. The two cities became “sister cities” after signing an agreement in October 1996.

The premier expressed his gratitude to Myanmar for in the past donating rice to Cambodia’s flood victims and for granting scholarships for Cambodian students to study in Myanmar.

Sophalleth added that Khin Aung Myint reported that the Cambodian premier is popular with the Burmese people because his “personal history book” had been translated in Burmese and widely read throughout the country.

However, according to The Irrawaddy, Hun Sen drew some criticism from Burmese dissidents two years ago after comparing former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to then-detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Khin Aung Myint was in the capital for this week’s 32nd annual ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.  

Yesterday, Myanmar was granted full-fledged AIPA membership, after serving as a special observer for nearly two decades. Myanmar’s new AIPA status comes nearly a year after forming its Parliament in January.  

General elections were held in the country for the first time in 20 years last November, but many observers have criticised those elections for being unfair and undemocratic.

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