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Cablegate: Austrian Response: Eu Invites Burmese Fm to Asem-6

VZCZCXRO8400
PP RUEHAG RUEHCHI RUEHDF RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHNH
DE RUEHVI #2317 2141512
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 021512Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4479
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

UNCLAS VIENNA 002317

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/AGS (SAINT-ANDRE)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM EUN FI BU AU
SUBJECT: AUSTRIAN RESPONSE: EU INVITES BURMESE FM TO ASEM-6
SUMMIT

REF: STATE 124139

1. (SBU) Acting Economic-Political Counselor delivered
reftel demarche on August 1 to Peter Storer, the Deputy
Director for Asia and Oceania in the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs. Storer said it was a difficult decision, but that
the EU had reached a consensus to invite the Burmese Foreign
Minister to the September ASEM-6 Summit in Helsinki. Storer
was aware of Washington,s objections to the invitation, but
emphasized that the ASEM-6 Summit offers the opportunity to
pressure Burma to improve its human right record. Austrian
Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel will attend the meeting.

2. (SBU) Storer cited two main reasons why the EU is
including the Burmese Foreign Minister. When the Dutch
decided in 2005 to exclude Burma from the ASEM Summit, Storer
said that the ASEAN nations boycotted the meeting in
Rotterdam, as a result. The EU, he said, needed to find a
middle ground and the Helsinki invitation would not only
foster the EU,s relationship with ASEAN, but also provide an
opportunity for the EU and ASEAN to jointly exert pressure on
Burma. Storer also noted that ASEAN issued a strong
statement on Burma last week at the ASEAN Regional Forum
(ARF) in Kuala Lampur, which, he emphasized, was a move for
ASEAN in the right direction. Storer said the ASEM-6 Summit
would probably generate a similar statement condemning
Burma,s human rights record and its military regime. China
and India are not yet on board, but Storer said the EU plans
to engage these countries on Burma during the summit.
Kilner

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