Sanctions on Myanmar will not help: French foreign minister

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Bangkok, Oct 30 (UNI) France does not favour an economic boycott of Myanmar's military regime by the international community to bring about an orderly democratic transition in the country, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said here today.

Addressing a press conference with his Thai counterpart Nitya Pibulsonggram, the visiting French foreign minister, however, emphasised that there could be no return to the status quo in Myanmar.

Mr Kouchner revealed that his government plans to set up a poverty assistance fund for Myanmar. This was not a new idea, he added, but urged a ''new spirit'' in the approach to the political stalemate in the country.

''Let's start having a new spirit, a new movement, a new strength and we will succeed,'' he said.

''We don't want to change the (Myanmar) regime immediately, overnight. This is impossible, ridiculous and counterproductive,'' the French foreign minister said.

Mr Kouchner is in Thailand as part of an Asian tour which takes him to Beijing tomorrow.


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