( dpa ) - The European Union's special envoy for Myanmar on Tuesday stressed the need for close cooperation with Asian governments in speeding up a solution to Myanmar's political crisis.
"We are open to all common initiatives and actions, all common strategies with the countries of Asia," said EU envoy Piero Fassino after holding talks Tuesday morning with Thai Foreign Minister Nitya Pibulsonggram.
Fassino has already visited Beijing to discuss the Myanmar issue, and plans to travel to Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Japan to solidify Asian support in what has become a fairly universal call on the military rulers of Myanmar to speed up their political dialogue with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other suppressed segments of Myanmar society.
The EU appointed Fassino as special envoy for Myanmar last year in an effort to increase pressure on the junta to bring about real politcal change in their country in the aftermath of a brutal crackdown on protests led by Buddhist monks that shocked the world and left at least 31 people dead.
The crackdown reignited international concern about Myanmar, which has been under military rule since 1962, but the growing frustration has thus far accomplished little in terms of forcing the ruling regime into a real political dialogue with Suu Kyi.
United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has visited Myanmar on several occasions, with the last visit being in November, to press for a genuine dialogue but with limited success.
"It is necessary to open a new phase of more constructive and more concise, a real dialogue between the junta and the opposition and all different sectors of Myanmar society," said Fassino.
Fassino's visit to Thailand might have been better timed as the country has just elected a new prime minister, Samak Sundaravej, and will set up a new government by mid-February.
"We are identical in our wish," noted outgoing Thai Foreign Minister Nutya, who added, "However, this government and its mandate will end in ten days, and therefore this issue of long-standing concern shall be a matter for the future government to decide."
Thailand is deemed a crucial player in the Myanmar issue, as it is the pariah's state closest neighbour in South-East Asia and the two countries have close economic ties.
Thailand will also take the chair of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on July 5, this year, which has been a crucial forum for discussing the Myanmar issue.