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Burma: Sanctions

Volume 493: debated on Wednesday 3 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which preparatory bodies the General Affairs and External Relations Council has asked to review proposals to reinforce existing restrictive measures on Burma; what role the UK has played in the process; and when the review is expected to be completed. (277408)

The Asia-Oceania Working Group (COASI) in Brussels has been charged with reviewing proposals to reinforce the restrictive measures. The UK has also instigated bilateral discussions on options with our partners. There is no set deadline for the completion of the review, but the UK is seeking to ensure that the EU is ready to respond swiftly to developments on the ground.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals for further discussions with Asian countries on Burma have been made at EU level; what steps the UK is taking in this regard; and if he will make a statement. (277409)

Members of the EU share the UK’s view that our Asian partners have a key role to play in encouraging the process of change in Burma. The EU raises the issue of Burma in its discussions with China, India and other Asian states at every opportunity. I joined Asian and other EU Ministers at the Asia Europe Meeting on 25-26 May 2009 in Hanoi and at the EU-ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Summit on 27-28 May 2009 in Phnom Penh. Burma and the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi were among the issues discussed in detail at that meeting.