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EU Says Burma Slowing Down Work of ASEAN


A top EU official has criticized Burma for what he described as its slow progress toward democracy.

Germany's ambassador to the Philippines, Axel Raimund Weishaupt, said Burma's recent release of some political prisoners was, in his words, "a small gesture."

He said the attitude of Burma's government is slowing down the process of integrating the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Weishaupt urged the group's members to be firmer with Burma.

Germany currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

Earlier this month, foreign ministers form ASEAN urged Burma to accelerate promised democratic reforms and called on it to fulfill its long-standing pledge to release political prisoners.

Rights groups estimate there are at least one thousand political activists jailed in Burma.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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