May 8 - At the end of the two-day ASEAN summit in Indonesia, southeast Asian leaders say they are considering Myanmar's proposal to host the summit in 2014. Simon Hanna reports.
As the latest ASEAN summit draws to a close in Indonesia, the prospect of the event being hosted in Myanmar is being seriously considered. Southeast Asian leaders say they have no objection to Myanmar's request to chair the bloc in 2014, as long as it continues making progress towards democracy. Myanmar, which released pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest in November, held elections earlier this year to switch from military to civilian rule. The move prompted ASEAN to push the U.S. and Europe to drop sanctions against Myanmar. Nonetheless, any decision to allow Myanmar to chair ASEAN would provoke protests from Western governments and rights groups. Another key issue at the summit was the ongoing border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono repeatedly called for unity during the summit. Despite intense efforts by Jakarta, the bloc didn't manage to bridge the gap between the two countries. The clashes, which focus on crumbling Hindu temples in disputed areas, have left 18 dead from both sides and forced the evacuation of over 60,000 people. Simon Hanna, Reuters