Thursday, November 22, 2007

Myanmar update

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The European Union and Southeast Asian leaders called on Thursday for enhanced economic cooperation and the release of political detainees in military-ruled Myanmar, but set no deadlines for either.

A free-trade agreement between the EU and its fifth-largest trading partner the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has stumbled over issues such as reform in military-ruled Myanmar, which the EU slapped sanctions on this week.

A joint declaration welcomed the decision of the Myanmar government to step up dialogue with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and called for a peaceful transition to democracy, although the two blocs clashed over sanctions.

Is a peaceful transition to democracy possible? The catalyst for this worldwide movement for change is the slaying of peaceful protesters. Maybe, just maybe, war is what Myanmar needs.

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