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Press Release
EU calls on Burma-Myanmar to release all political prisoners and co-operate with the United Nations

Date of release : 07-05-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Foreign Ministers

On 6-7 May 2005, Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs and current President of the Council of the European Union, took part in an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Foreign Ministers in Kyoto, Japan.

On the margins of the meeting, Minister Asselborn and External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner also held talks – in an EU troika format – with U Nyan Win, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Burma/Myanmar.

At the final press conference of the Asia-Europe Meeting, Jean Asselborn made the following statement on Burma/Myanmar:

“The European Union remains concerned about the situation in Burma-Myanmar. We call on the State Peace and Development Committee to renounce past hostilities and enter into a constructive dialogue with the National League for Democracy, other legitimate representative bodies and the ethnic groups.  Only such an inclusive approach can bring real and lasting reconciliation, peace and development to the country and lead to the drawing up of a constitution that can win the true support of the people.

The European Union also called once more for the release of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi. Yesterday, I furthermore presented a list of some 19 political prisoners to the Burmese authorities, which the EU would like to see freed immediately on humanitarian grounds.

Finally, we have appealed to the Burmese authorities to establish permanent and sincere cooperation with the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy Ismael Razali and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Sergio Pinheiro and with all the UN agencies involved.

The Foreign Minister of Burma-Myanmar agreed to study the list of political prisoners and the demands formulated by the European Union."

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This page was last modified on : 07-05-2005

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