The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has rejected a call by the U.S. Senate to suspend Burma because of its poor human rights record.
ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Ken Yong Sunday said confrontation is not the answer to dealing with Burma's military government.
The U.S. Senate on Friday voted unanimously to urge Asian leaders to suspend Burma's membership in ASEAN. Laos, Cambodia and Singapore Sunday condemned Western economic sanctions against Burma, saying they hurt the civilian population.
ASEAN leaders are meeting in Singapore this week. On Tuesday, they are expected to sign an agreement that would give the bloc a legal status similar to that of the European Union.
The agreement would clear the way for economic integration.
ASEAN members are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.