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ASEAN Will Not Defend Burma from UN Pressure Unless it Speeds Promised Democratic Reforms


Southeast Asian countries have told Burma they will not defend its government from international pressure unless it accelerates promised democratic reforms.

Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations gave the warning Thursday as they met on the Philippine island of Cebu, ahead of an annual summit of the region's leaders.

The United States has called Burma a threat to regional security, and it introduced a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council urging the military government to democratize and release political prisoners.

An ASEAN summit spokesman, Victoriano Lecaros said the ministers urged Burma to stick to its promised "road map" to democracy issued in 2003. They also called on Burma to fulfill its long-standing pledge to release political prisoners and include democratic reforms in a new constitution.

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