The Philippine foreign secretary says he is gravely concerned about human rights conditions in Burma and has called on the nation to implement democratic reforms.
Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo released a statement Wednesday calling on Burma to release democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and allow a United Nations envoy to return to the country.
He also said he respects calls for Burma to give up its chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2006, but added the Philippines will abide by the group's consensus on the matter.
Because of Burma's human rights record and slow progress on democratic reforms, the United States and European Union have threatened to boycott ASEAN meetings if Burma takes the rotating chairmanship next year.
Information for this report is provided by AP.