Monday, May 4, 2009

EU-Japan Calls for Progressive Changes in Burma


Leaders of the European Union (EU) and Japan called for an inclusive political process in Burma and the release of political prisoners ahead of the 2010 election, during the EU-Japan Summit in Prague on Monday.

According to a joint press statement from the summit, leaders of the EU and Japan pointed out that the elections in 2010 “could be welcomed by the international community if they were based on an inclusive dialogue among all stakeholders in Myanmar [Burma].”

The EU and Japan called on the Burmese junta to release political prisoners and detainees, including pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as to lift all restrictions imposed on political parties immediately.

President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus, chaired the summit. European Commission President José Barroso and Secretary General of the Council of the European Union Javier Solana attended the summit on behalf of the EU. Japan’s Prime Minister Taro Aso led the Japanese delegation.

“Summit leaders expressed their hope that the Government of Myanmar tackles the country’s severe political, structural and economic problems and fosters a peaceful transition to a legitimate, democratic and civilian government without delay,” leaders noted in the press release.

The EU- Japan also expressed their readiness to respond positively to substantive political progress and steps toward respect for human rights undertaken by the Burmese regime.

The leaders at the summit said they were determined to “help the government and the people of Burma achieve stability and prosperity in democratic freedom.”

They also repeated their support for the UN secretary-general’s Mission of Good Offices and the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Burma and called on the regime to cooperate fully with them.

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