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Japan, Vietnam to prod EU to resolve Myanmar issue

Kyodo

Japanese, Vietnamese and EU foreign ministers agreed Friday to find ways this month to resolve the row between Asia and the European Union over admitting Myanmar to the Asia-Europe Meeting, a Japanese official said.

Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi met with EU foreign and security chief Javier Solana and External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten for 15 minutes. Her Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Dy Nien, whose country is to host the next Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in October, later joined them.

During the 30-minute talks on the sidelines of a series of ASEAN meetings, both sides emphasized the importance of successfully holding the 5th ASEM summit in Hanoi and called for cooperation, the official said.

The official declined to elaborate on how the parties would resolve the issue, citing ongoing negotiations, and said there will be a senior working-level meeting July 9 in Tokyo.

Japan is the coordinator of the three East Asian members of ASEM — Japan, China and South Korea — while Vietnam represents the seven Southeast Asian members. ASEM also comprises 15 EU member countries.

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