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U.S. criticizes Burma

Secretary of State Warren Christopher arrived Monday for four days of meetings focused on Pacific Rim security and trade, with human rights in Burma and Indonesia the initial items on his agenda.

Discussions about the repressive Burmese military regime dominated a dinner Monday attended by foreign ministers of the seven-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and of that group's larger Regional Forum, a senior U.S. official said.

Christopher said America wants the repressive military junta in Burma to release political prisoners and talk seriously with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's Nobel peace laureate. He urged other Southeast Asian nations to pursue similar policies.

But ASEAN members, who recently stressed a wish to welcome Burma to the group rather than to isolate it, made clear they shared the same objective but preferred a different approach, the official said.