Sunday, November 18, 2007

Burma crisis to dominate ASEAN summit, but free trade, climate also high on agenda

The Associated PressPublished: November 17, 2007

SINGAPORE: Myanmar has often been compared to a relative of questionable character, an embarrassing intrusion at family get-togethers.

Bereft of friends and reviled by many, Myanmar is set to spoil the party again.

The recent crackdown by the country's military junta on peaceful pro-democracy protesters will figure prominently at an annual summit this week of Asian leaders, much to the chagrin of its colleagues in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the region's main political and economic bloc.

After a series of ministerial-level meetings, ASEAN leaders will hold their summit Tuesday, followed by a tete-a-tete with leaders of China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand in the so-called East Asia Summit on Wednesday.

Host Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo said the ASEAN leaders' informal dinner Monday will be "the critical meeting" for adopting a common position on Myanmar.

No comments: