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US Considers ASEAN Boycott During Burma Chairmanship - 2004-12-01


The United States says it may boycott Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings when Burma takes over the regional group's helm in 2006.

U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says it will be up to the Secretary of State to decide whether it is appropriate for Washington to participate in ASEAN meetings during Burma's year-long term as chairman.

Mr. Boucher says the United States has repeatedly called on Burma's military government to take steps to promote democracy, release all political prisoners and respect human rights.

The ASEAN chairman traditionally hosts a series of official and ministerial level meetings with the grouping's key trading partners, including the United States and European Union.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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