EU, Asia to press Myanmar for political tolerance

October 24th, 2008 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Oct 24 (DPA) Asian and European leaders plan to urge Myanmar’s military rulers to be more tolerant toward opposition political parties and release political prisoners, according to a draft summit statement Friday.The leaders attending the biennial Asia-Europe Meeting would urge Myanmar to “engage all stakeholders in an inclusive political process in order to achieve national reconciliation and economic and social development”.

“In this regard, they called for the lifting of restrictions placed on political parties and early release of those under detention,” said a draft “chair’s statement”, which was scheduled to be issued Saturday by the host nation, China.

The summit, which opened Friday, would also call for new goals on climate change up to 2012 to be agreed by the end of next year, according to the draft.

The 27-member European Union and 16 Asian nations also plan to issue a separate joint statement Saturday committing them to comprehensive reform of global financial systems.

The 16 Asian nations represented at the summit are China, India, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and the 10 members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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