Burmese PM's Indonesia visit postponed

Jan 13, 2008 (AFP), The governments of Indonesia and Burma have agreed to postpone a visit this week by Burmese prime minister lieutenant general Thein Sein, the president’s spokesman said Sunday.

Indonesia’s ex-president Suharto is currently in hospital critically ill following multiple organ failure on Friday. Doctors said Sunday that his condition had stabilised after he was hooked to a ventilation machine.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono cut short an official visit to Malaysia on Saturday by several hours to rush back to Jakarta, but Suharto, who was first hospitalised on 4 January, appeared to improve by the time he returned.

Yudhoyono immediately held a meeting with his cabinet ministers to discuss the situation.

Thein Sein’s visit was to have primarily focused on enhancing bilateral economic relations, the president’s spokesman Dino Patti Djalal told AFP.

"Following consultations with the government of Myanmar, there has been an agreement reached to postpone the visit because the national mood is not conducive (for a visit) at the moment," he said.

"We will reschedule the visit at a time more convenient to both sides."

Thein Sein was declared prime minister of the military regime of Burma in October last year to replace former premier Soe Win, who relinquished his post last May and died in October.

Burma’s prime minister is thought to exert little control over the country, as all real power lies with Senior General Than Shwe and the military junta.

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