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    EU sets urgent meeting on Myanmar for Tuesday

    12.05.2008 - 11:38 | Son Güncelleme:

    The European Commission has called for an urgent meeting of European Union ministers in charge of humanitarian aid on Tuesday to beef up the EU response to the Myanmar emergency, the Commission said in a statement.

    Louis Michel, commissioner for development and humanitarian aid, intends to travel to the cyclone-hit Asian country immediately after the meeting.

    "There, he will meet with the Burmese authorities to discuss the best way forward to bringing international assistance to the affected population," the Commission said on Monday.

    Myanmar's reclusive military government is accepting aid from the outside world, including the United Nations, but will not let in foreign logistics teams, who were queuing up in Bangkok hoping to get visas from the Myanmar embassy.

    A first U.S. military aid flight left Thailand for Myanmar on Monday carrying water, mosquito nets and blankets.

    Cyclone Nargis has claimed up to 100,000 lives and 220,000 people are missing, according to the U.N. humanitarian agency, which believes that between 1.2 million and 1.9 million people were struggling to survive in the storm's aftermath.

    The Commission said it and the EU ministers would try to identify and coordinate the best means of mobilising and delivering humanitarian assistance.

    "It is our sincere wish to work in close co-operation with the Burmese authorities to urgently alleviate the sufferings of the Burmese people affected by the cyclone", Commissioner Michel said in the statement.

    The Commission could not yet say when on Tuesday the meeting would take place. 

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