What the six-party talks proved.

Pundits point to the on-going six-way negotiations between the two Koreas, Japan, the US, China and Russia on the North Korean nuclear crisis as proof that diplomacy works.

Of course diplomacy works. That has been proven even before these six-party talks came about. What really was proven there is a totally different matter: a lesson that I’m sure diplomats from Tehran to Damascus are taking notice of.

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Why Myanmar (and everyone else) is ignoring Manila.

Among the five founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Philippines is Myanmar’s pain in the ass.

In Singapore last week, President Arroyo slapped the junta’s face when she called on the regime to release Aung San Suu Kyi and to hasten democratization in Burma. If the junta will not do so, Arroyo warned that the Philippine Congress will likely reject the landmark ASEAN Charter, a scenario that made ASEAN leaders and diplomats shiver.

Very brave indeed. But unfortunately for the Philippines and for the people of Burma, Arroyo’s call fell on deaf ears.

Continue reading “Why Myanmar (and everyone else) is ignoring Manila.”