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Cambodia Delays Membership in ASEM - 2004-07-07

Cambodian Prime Minister (PM) Hun Sen announced Wednesday that he has decided to delay Cambodia's membership in ASEM in the October ASEM summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Mr. Hun Sen said on Wednesday that the reasons for the delay is a display of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) unity, not a support of the human rights conditions in Burma.

In October, the European Union (EU) plans to admit 10 countries from Europe and 3 counries from Asia, Burma, Cambodia and Laos, as new members of ASEM, but Burma was excluded from the meeting because of its military government's poor human rights record.

The Cambodian PM said it is not right for the EU to use the problem of Burma as an obstacle blocking the cooperation between the EU and the ASEAN