Military Myanmar opens ties with Principality of Andorra
Myanmar's junta has opened diplomatic relations with the Principality of Andorra - one of the world's smallest nations, state media and foreign ministry sources said Sunday, dpa reported.
The two countries decided to establish diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level with effect from February 11, 2009, The New Light of Myanmar reported.
An agreement was signed by permanent representatives from both countries at United Nations headquarters in New York on Wednesday, the government mouthpiece said.
"Andorra becomes Myanmar's 103rd international relations office including UN Permanent Representative offices and counselor offices," said an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who requested anonymity.
Andorra is a small, landlocked country sandwiched between France and Spain, with a population of an estimated 100,000. Besides tourism, it is a well-known tax haven in Europe.
Myanmar, with a population of more than 50 million people, has been under military rule since 1962.
The country's ruling junta is a pariah among Western democracies - many of which have slapped travel and business sanctions on its leaders.
Myanmar's military regime has drawn Western sanction because of its atrocious human rights record and refusal to free thousands of political prisoners - the most famous of whom is Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi - and to allow democratic reforms.
Myanmar, apparently imitating China's "soft diplomacy" policy, has opened diplomatic relations with several smaller nations in recent years.