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Dutch FM: ASEM Summit Should Take Place Despite Dispute over Burma - 2004-08-26


The Dutch foreign minister says he is confident a summit of Asian and European leaders will take place in Vietnam in October as scheduled, despite a dispute over Burma's participation.

Ben Bot, whose country holds the European Union's rotating presidency, told reporters in Indonesia that he believes a solution on the Burma issue will be reached ahead of the summit.

The European Union says it opposes Burma's presence at the Asia-Europe meeting because of its poor human rights record. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations says Burma should be allowed to participate as a new ASEAN member.

ASEAN says it wants all three of its newest members -- Burma, Laos and Cambodia -- to be part of the Asia-Europe meeting.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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