Dáil debates

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

4:00 pm

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs; Louth, Fianna Fail)

On the issue of the Olympic Games, the point has been made many times that China will be very aware of the international communities' view and very precious and cautious regarding the impact that might have on the games. Without being too overt about it, China has responded and has played a very valuable role in the recent events. Hopefully that will continue with regard to, for instance, allowing people from the Red Cross to enter Burma, as we would wish.

With regard to EU interaction, a substantial number of EU countries do not have representation in Burma. We wish to work with our UN colleagues. Dr. Gambari is leading the response of the international community in trying to give a clear message that the international community is united against what happened on this occasion but also to indicate that there is a carrot as well as a stick approach available. When I say stick, I am referring to the possibility of further sanctions. The carrot approach aims to show the regime that there would be opportunities for economic development. It is clear that any further sanctions, as discussed by the EU, would only be implemented if they did not have an effect on the general population but primarily on those who were responsible for the atrocities that have taken place.

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