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Singapore: Burma Might Give Up Asean Chairmanship


Singapore's foreign minister says Burma might give up its turn as chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations next year to act in the best interest of the group.

Foreign Minister George Yeo told members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of Singapore today-Friday that Burma has told a number of countries it will not be selfish and will take into account the interests of ASEAN. But he says ASEAN could not force Burma to give up its turn.

U.S. and European leaders -- critical of Burma's record on human rights -- are expected to boycott any meetings between ASEAN and its Western partners if Burma assumes the rotating chairmanship next year.

Mr. Yeo also says Singapore had misgivings about admitting the military-ruled country into ASEAN in 1997, but other members pressed for it.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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