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Europe

EU Berated for Cancelling Asian Meetings

The European Union has come under fire for cancelling two meetings with Asian partners amid a bitter dispute over the presence of Myanmar in the talks.

Two meetings between EU and Asian finance ministers scheduled for the next few months have been cancelled amid EU objections to the participation of Myanmar, also known as Burma, in the talks due to the military junta’s repeated human rights violations. The decision to cancel the talks has caused acrimony between the EU and the 10 Asian nations that make up the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). "Just because they are not satisfied with one country, it should not then cause the meetings to be abandoned. They should not try to impose conditions, it's not productive," Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar is reported as saying. The EU’s decision has called into question a major summit due to be held later this year in Hanoi. (EUobserver.com)