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Total Says It Will Not Withdraw from Burma


A French oil company operating in Burma says it will not bow to activist pressure to leave the country.

The head of French energy giant Total Thierry Desmarest told shareholders Tuesday that leaving Burma would not further the cause of democracy.

The activist group U.S. Campaign for Burma has criticized France's opposition to European Union sanctions against Burma, saying France is opposing the sanctions to protect Total.

The U.S. Campaign for Burma is part of a new coalition of 53 organizations in 18 countries formed to pressure Total to withdraw from Burma.

Total cooperated with the Burmese military government to help build a natural gas pipeline across Burma from the Andaman Sea to Thailand.

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