Nordic Countries Cautious on Burma Elections

Danish foreign minister Lene Espersen has given the election in Myanmar, the first in 20 years, a cautious welcome. The election is expected to take place in October or November.
“Even if everything suggests these elections will not be free or fair by western standards, they nevertheless represent the only chance the people of Myanmar have of achieving more freedom in the short term,” she told AFP.
The statement came at a meeting on Thursday, where the Nordic foreign ministers urged the Myanmar junta to release the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and begin dialogue towards national reconciliation.
In a joint statement, the Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish foreign ministers called for Suu Kyi to be allowed to participate in planned elections.
Under laws enacted Monday, which have sparked international anger, Suu Kyi faces exclusion from her own National League for Democracy (NLD) and is prevented from standing in the elections.


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