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19-05-08:Awesome HMS Westminister at 12 miles off Myanmar’s coast . International flotilla awaits Myanmar go-ahead By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 16 minutes ago BANGKOK, Thailand – Lt. Denver Applehans runs down the list of what’s ready, almost within sight of Myanmar’s cyclone-devastated shore. Four US ships laden with 14 helicopters, two landing-craft vessels, two high-tech amphibious hovercraft and about 1000 Marines — help that has been there for a week. “We are currently not providing any aid from the ships,” said Applehans, a public affairs officer aboard the USS Essex. A deal may be in the works, however, to allow the US flotilla — and French and British ships in the same situation — to finally join in the relief effort after Cyclone Nargis. Though extremely reluctant to allow foreign militaries into the devastated Irrawaddy delta, Myanmar’s ruling junta appears to be weighing a proposal that would put Asian intermediaries in charge of ferrying aid from the ships to shore. The ships are capable of providing a huge boost to relief operations for the more than 2 million people believed to be in severe need of help. British Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown said the military regime was considering the arrangement, and said he was guardedly optimistic.