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Promoting Democracy and Human Rights

Part of Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 13th October 2008.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 5:15 pm, 13th October 2008

I completely agree with my hon. Friend. The Minister's particular responsibilities at the Foreign Office are to do with Europe, and I hope that she will go back from this debate determined to ensure that Burma is high on the agenda of meetings of European Foreign Ministers. An EU Heads of Government summit is due this week and an Asia-Europe meeting is due on 24 October. I hope that at the latter meeting in particular the British Government will ensure that the issue of Burma is brought to the fore.

This is not only to do with China or India but with Burma's neighbours—Malaysia, Indonesia and all the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations which have it in their power and influence to affect the survival and the manner of government of the Burmese junta. I hope that every bit of diplomatic weight that the United Kingdom can bring to bear will be used to determine a European approach to those discussions and to put the maximum pressure on our Asian friends in order to secure a measure of greater liberty and common decency for the people of Burma, who have suffered for far too long.