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EU Extends Burma's visa ban
- Subject: EU Extends Burma's visa ban
- From: RANGOONP@xxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 07 Oct 1997 20:28:00
LUXEMBOURG, Oct 6 (Reuter) - European Union foreign ministers on Monday
decided to extend for a further six months an EU ban on granting visas to
senior Burmese officials, saying political developments in the country were
The ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, also reiterated their concern over the
human rights situation in the country.
In a statement, they noted that the Burmese authorities had authorised a
congress of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party in
Rangoon for the first time since 1990.
``The Council thought, however, that political developments in Burma continue
to be most unsatisfactory and called on the SLORC (Rangoon's State Law and
Order Restoration Council) to implement a substantial dialogue with all
opposition parties, including the NLD,'' it said.
As a result, ministers confirmed their intention to roll-over the EU's common
position on Burma and continued to examine the question of possible
additional measures, it said.
Swedish Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen said Denmark, Sweden and Britain
were among EU countries open to the idea of imposing further sanctions in the
Ministers also agreed to try and involve United Nations Commissioner for
Human Rights, Mary Robinson of Ireland, in their work on Burma, she added.
British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook last month condemned Burma for profiting
from the drugs trade and said the visa ban meant Burmese officials would not
be included at a summit of European and Asian nations in London in April.
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is a forum linking the 15 EU member states
with Japan, China, South Korea and some members of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
ASEAN admitted Burma to its ranks this year, despite heavy Western criticism
of Rangoon's record on human rights and its flourishing narcotics trade.