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Ministry Of Foreign Affairs

An independent and active foreign policy
        The Union of Myanmar pursues an independent and active foreign policy in accordance with the following principles :

- Respect for equality of peoples and sovereign equality of States and upholding the five principles of peaceful co-existence;
- Upholding non - aligned, independent and just positions on international issues;
- Maintenance of friendly relations with all countries, especially good neighbourly relations with neighbouring countries;
- Continued support of and active participation in the UN and its Agencies;
- Pursuance of mutually beneficial, bilateral and multilateral co-operation programmes in accordance with the independent foreign policy;
- Consultation and co-operation in regional economic and social affairs;
- Active participation in the maintenance of international peace and security, opposition to imperialism, colonialism and neo - colonialism, non - interference, non -aggression and domination by one state or another, creation of equitable economic conditions;
- Acceptance of foreign aid without strings for national development.

        Myanmar's independent and active foreign policy is a just and correct policy which is based on prevailing situations of Myanmar and the world.
        On the basis of its geographical location, experience of its international relations and maintenance of friendly relations with all countries of the world, the independent and active foreign policy is the most appropriate foreign policy for Myanmar. Myanmar pursues such a foreign policy for the purposes of strengthening friendly relations with all countries, especially with neighbouring countries in keeping with the changing conditions of the world.
        The government strives to stand tall among the international community by adherence to an independent and active foreign policy.

Diplomatic Relations
        Myanmar maintains diplomatic and consular relations with 75 countries in all five continents of the world. It has established embassies in 29 countries namely Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, South- Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam and Yugoslavia. In addition, there are Myanmar Permanent Missions to the United Nations in New York and Geneva. It also maintains Consulates- General in Hong Kong and Kunming.
        There are 26 embassies in Yangon. The People's Republic of China has its Consulate Genaral in Mandalay and Bangladesh has its Consulate in Sittway. In addition, there are two Honorary Consulates in Yangon. At the same time, there are 35 other ambassadors who are concurrently accredited to Myanmar. The United Nations is represented by UNDP, UNICEF, FAO, WHO, UNDCP and UNHCR offices in Yangon.

Area Countries
with dip
Accredited from Myanmar Accredited to Myanmar
Resident Concurrent Resident Concurrent
East Asia and Pacific 8 4 2 4 2
South and South - East Asia 16 13 2 13 1
Middle East and Africa 15 3 7 2 7
Europe 24 6 14 6 18
America 12 3 2 1 6
Total 75 29 27 26 35

The Union of Myanmar in international affairs
        The Union of Myanmar has all along practised its independent and active foreign policy in respect of regional and international affairs. Just as internal peace is essential, so also is international peace indispensable for the development of Myanmar. Therefore, maintenance of international peace and regional peace are the cornerstone and the fundamental tenet of Myanmar's Foreign Policy.
        Myanmar actively participates in maintaining world peace. It persistently works for friendship with all countries especially with neighbouring countries. Thus, the motto "Let amity be enduring and enmity be ephermeral" becomes one of the basic principles in Myanmar Foreign Policy.
        The Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence is a cornerstone in Myanmar's Foreign Policy. The distinguishing features of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co- existence are respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and peaceful settlement of disputes. Myanmar always gives priority to the strengthening of friendship and good neighbourliness with regard to neighbouring countries. Thus Myanmar has successfully resolved all problems concerning demarcation of the boundaries with neighbouring; countries.
        Soon after regaining independence, Myanmar joined the United Nations on 19 April 1948 which was formed with the aim of promoting international peace, security and development. Myanmar firmly believes in the basic principles and objectives enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. Even though the UA has celebrated its Golden Jubilee, Myanmar firmly believes that its basic principles are still valid in the conduct of nternational relations. In fine with its complete faith in the U.N, Myanmar sent a high- level delegation led by General Maung Aye, Vice - Chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council to attend the Golden Jubilee of the U.N.
        Although the United Nations has its own limitations, weaknesses and shortcomings, Myanmar believes that the United Nations is the best hope in maintaining international peace, security and development. Myanmar will continue to support the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies and will also participate actively in its activities. Myanmar gives its active cooperation in the fields of disarmament, environmental protection and preservation, anti - narcotic drugs abuse, human rights, health, social development, women and children's affairs.
        A founding member of the Non-aligned Movement, Myanmar still actively participates in this movement. Myanmar still adheres to the basic principles of the Non-aligned Movement without any deviation. Although international political situation has changed for the better, Myanmar believes that the basic principles of the Non-aligned Movement are still relevant to the current political situation. Myanmar also believes that the Non-aligned Movement safeguards not only the interests of the movement but also promotes mutual cooperation among the developing countries. Therefore, Myanmar actively participates in the Non-aligned Movement and also works closely in various sectors with other countries having common interests.
        With a view to promoting tourism in the country, Myanmar designated the year 1996 as Visit Myanmar Year. The authorities concerned in Myanmar have extended the stay permit of the tourists up to 28 days and Myanmar Embassies and Missions also are instructed to issue visas within 24 hours of application. Visas can be issued within a few hours on an urgent basis by payment of express fees.
        International tourists and foreign visitors with valid visas entering from China are allowed to enter through Muse and Kyukok. International tourists and foreign visitors with valid visas entering from Thailand are allowed to enter from Tachilek, Myawaddy and Kawthaung respectively.

Mutual Goodwill visits
        Senior General Than Shwe, Chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council paid a goodwill visit to the Republic of Indonesia from 5 to 8 June 1995. He also paid a visit to the Republic of Singapore from 8 to 11 June 1995 and concluded the Economic Cooperation Agreement. From 14 to 16 December 1995, he visited Bangkok to attend the meeting with leaders of ASEAN including Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. In January 1996, during the goodwill visit to the People's Republic of China, the two countries concluded the Agreement on Economic and Technical Assistance Cooperation and Cultural Exchange Programmes. The two countries also signed a loan agreement with interest sharing programme. During the goodwill visit to Malaysia from 12 to 16 August 1996, both sides concluded the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation.
        Myanmar and Cambodia signed the TwinCity Agreement between Bagan and Seim Reap. Furthermore, Chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council and Prime Minister of the Union of Myanmar Senior General Than Shwe visited Indonesia to attend the Informal Summit Meeting of ASEAN from 28 to 30 November 1996. Senior General Than Shwe also went to Malaysia to attend the ASEAN Informal Summit Meeting and the 30th ASEAN Commemorative Anniversary from 14 to 16 December 1997.
        At the invitation of Vice-Chairman of Central Military Affairs Commision General Zhang Wannian, Vice-Chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services, Commander-in-Chief (Army) General Maung Aye paid a goodwill visit to the People's Republic of China in October 1996.
        The Secretary-1 of the State Law and Order Restoration Council Lt.-Gen Khin Nyunt paid a visit to Singapore to attend the MyanmarSingapore Ministerial Level Meeting from 3 to 4 October 1997.
       Minister for Foreign Affairs U Ohn Gyaw visited Indonesia to attend the Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-aligned Movement from 22 to 30 April 1995. At the invitation of the Ministers of Japan and the Republic of Korea, the Minister for Foreign Affairs went to Japan and Korea in November 1995. In May 1996, he visited Japan again to attend the Ministerial Meeting on Environment in Asia and Pacific Region. Minister U Ohn Gyaw visited the Lao People's Democratic Republic to attend the Second Meeting of the Myanmar-Lao Joint Commission from 13 to 15 June 1996. U Ohn Gyaw went to Indonesia to attend the 29th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting from 18 to 25 July 1996. He travelled to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to attend the Second Meeting of the Myanmar-Vietnam Joint Commission from 15 to 18 January 1997. U Ohn Gyaw visited Thailand to attend the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vetnam and Thailand from 19 to 21 April 1997. The Minister then attended the 30th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Malaysia from 24 to 30 July 1997.
       Leaders of the countries of South - East Asia also visited the Union of Myanmar. Mr. Nouhak Phounsavanh, the President of Lao People's Democratic Republic visited Myanmar from 8 to 12 May 1995 and during his visit, the Trade Agreement and Agreement for Bilateral Cooperation in Agricultural Sector were signed. First Prime Minister of Cambodia Samdech Krom Norodom Ranariddh was in Myanmar from 27 to 29 January 1996 and the Agreement on the Establishment, of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation was signed during the visit. Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand Mr. Banharn Silpa Archa visited Myanmar from 17 to 18 March 1996 and witnessed the signing of the Agreement on Boder Trade between Myanmar and Thailand. Co - Prime Minister of Cambodia Mr. Hun Sen visited Myanmar from 28 to 31 January 1997 and the Agreement for Cooperation in Culture was signed during his visit. President Soeharto of the Republic of Indonesia paid a visit to Myanmar from 21 to 23 February 1997 and, during his visit, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Union of Myanmar . Economic Holdings Limited and CITRA Group r of Companies of the Republic of Indonesia was i signed. Myanmar Airways of the Ministry of Transport of the Union of Myanmar and Pt. Triputra Unggul Utama (IPTN) of Indonesia also signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a joint venture airline for border areas development, during the visit.
       Prime Minister of Lao People's Democratic Republic Mr. Khamtay Siphandone visited Myanmar from 29 March to 1 April 1997 and, . during the visit, the Agreement for Mutual Cooperation between Myanmar and Laos for the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotrophic Substances, the Agreement on Myanmar - Laos Border areas Management and Cooperation and the Agreement for Airways were signed. Thai Prime Minister General Chavalit Yongchai -yudh came to Myanmar from 16 to 17 May 1997 and the Agreement on Border Crossing and the Notes Concerning the Jurisdiction over Thailand Myanmar Friendship Bridge on the Moei Thaungyin River were signed during the visit. General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam Mr. Do Muoi paid an official visit to Myanmar from 22 to 24 May 1997. President Fidel V Ramos visited Myanmar from 15 to 17 October 1997 and, during his visit, the Agreement on the Establishment of Joint Commission for Bilateral . Cooperation between the two countries, the Agreement of Trade, the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation against Illicit Tracking of Narcotic Durgs and Psychotrophic Substances and the Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries on the Promotion of Technical Cooperation in Forestry, and Forest Industries were signed.
       Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand Mr. Krasae Chanawongse visited Myanmar from 7 to 8 April 1995 and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand Mr. Kasen S. Kasemsiri was a guest in Myanmar from 12 to 13 November 1995. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand Dr. Amnuay Viravan visited Myanmar from 4 to 7 August 1996. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lao Mr. Somsavat was in Myanmar from 3 to 6 August 1997 to attend the Third Myanmar Laos Joint Commission Meeting.
       In December 1995, Mr. Li Ruihuan, Politbureau Permanent Commission Member and Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) of the People's Republic of China, at the invitation of Vice - Chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council Deputy Commander - in Chief of Defence Services Commander - in Chief (Army) General Mating Aye, in March 1997 Mr. Luo Gan, State Councillor and Secretary General of the People's Republic of China in order to sign a treaty on administration and cooperation of Myanmar - Chinese border areas, in October 1997 Vice - Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Mr. Wu Bangguo in order to sign the Framework Agreement on a Preferential Loan (RMB Yuan - 100 million) with interest subsidized by the government of the People's Republic of China, visited Myanmar respectively.

ASEAN and Myanmar
        Myanmar was invited to join ASEAN since it was established in 1967. However, because of priorities givers to its State policies, and the regional and international situations at that time, Myanmar had striven to promote bilateral relations with ASEAN members rather than to become a member of ASEAN. But Myanmar had- carried out all the tasks to promote regional cooperation in accordance with current international situations and policies and objectives adopted by the State.
        Myanmar attended the 27 th Ministerial Meeting held in Bangkok in July 1994 as the guest of the host country, Thailand, while making efforts to participate in the regional association, ASEAN. In July 1995, Myanmar also attended the 28th Ministerial Meeting at the invitation of the host country. Brunei Darussalam. At that meeting. Myanmar acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation and also applied for observer status of the ASEAN.
        In December 1995, Chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council Senior General Than Shwe attended the Summit Meeting of All Ten Southeast Asian Nations, following the Fifth ASEAN Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand, and sigend the Treaty on Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. Myanmar as an observer attended the 29th Ministerial Meeting held in Jakarta, Indonesia in July 1996. Besides, Myanmar became a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
        Then, in August 1996, Myanmar applied for a full-fledged membership of ASEAN. As Myanmar's effort to become an ASEAN member was warmly welcomed by all the ASEAN members, Myanmar was accepted as a full-fledged member at the 30th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting held in Subang Jaya, Malaysia on 23 July 1997.
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