The Foreign Minister of Vietnam, which holds the ASEAN chair in 2010, has released a statement welcoming the Myanmar Government’s announcement to hold general elections on November 7.

The statement reads, “The Federal Government of Myanmar on August 13 announced that it would hold general elections on November 7, 2010. ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) welcomes this decision of Myanmar .

“In this spirit, ASEAN encourages Myanmar to speed up steps in the roadmap towards national reconciliation and democracy, including the above-mentioned general elections that will work in establishing a constitutional government in Myanmar .

“ASEAN emphasises the importance of national reconciliation in Myanmar and holding general elections in a free and fair manner with the participation of all interested parties, thus contributing to stability and development in Myanmar .

“ASEAN also emphasises a need for Myanmar to continue cooperating with ASEAN and the United Nations in the process. For its part, ASEAN is ready to give support if Myanmar expresses its interest and if it runs in line with the ASEAN charter. ASEAN will work closely with Myanmar in consulting on this issue.”

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam./.