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Singapore PM to Meet President Bush in Washington


Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, is meeting with President Bush today in Washington for talks expected to cover economic relations and a range of global issues.

Singapore is one of the United States' closest allies in Southeast Asia.

Speaking in Washington Thursday, Mr. Lee urged the U.S. not to let Southeast Asian nations' relationships with Burma harm U.S. relations with the region.

He said the United States has a broader, strategic interest with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Lee said Washington should not allow its complaints with Burma to affect efforts to actively engage ASEAN countries.

Burma is an ASEAN member, and has come under increasing pressure by the United States and the international community to speed up democratic reforms.

ASEAN has a policy of not interfering in other countries' affairs, but is increasingly frustrated over Burma's slow pace of reform.

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