November 24, 2007
ASEAN-EU : Myanmar Crisis
EU lawmakers vow to block free-trade deal with ASEAN without reforms in Myanmar
The European parliament will oppose any free-trade deal between Europe and Southeast Asia unless Myanmar makes democratic reforms, visiting parliamentarians warned Friday.
"Without any change in Myanmar, there will be no agreement from the European parliament on the FTA" with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, German lawmaker Hartmut Nassauer told reporters.
Nassauer, head of a nine-member European parliament delegation visiting the Philippines, rejected suggestions by some ASEAN members that sanctions should not be imposed on the military-led country. Europe will maintain sanctions and isolate Myanmar as long as reforms are not put in place, he said.
At the very least, Nassauer added, Myanmar should release long-detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners.
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