Ahern to raise Burma fears at EU summit


The Government is expected to raise concerns about the political situation in Burma at an EU summit in Luxembourg tomorrow.

Foreign ministers from the bloc's 27 member states are gathering for the General Affairs and External Relations Council.

Tensions have eased in Burma since Buddhist monks led the largest pro democracy demonstrations in 20 years last month.

The military junta has relaxed a curfew and restored internet access but Amnesty International claimed 1,000 protesters remain in prisons.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern is expected to raise the issue with his EU colleagues in Luxembourg tomorrow.

"The minister has highlighted human rights abuses in Burma on behalf of the Irish Government at every available forum in the past, and will do so again at the General Affairs and External Relations Council," a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is travelling to Lisbon on Thursday for a two-day meeting of EU heads of government.

The leaders will discuss the latest developments in relation to the Reform Treaty.

The Government has already decided to opt out of new structures in the pact relating to judicial co-operation, criminal matters and police co-operation.

But it vowed to co-operate to the maximum possible extent with the rest of the EU on these issues.