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Myanmar%2C+N.+Korea+in+focus+as+ASEAN+summit+starts
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 - 19:44
Myanmar, N. Korea in focus as ASEAN summit starts
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Southeast Asian leaders met today, for an annual summit set to be dominated by Myanmar's historic reforms, North Korea's planned rocket launch and strategic maritime disputes with China.

Leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asians, gathered in the Cambodian capital, two days after by-elections in Myanmar saw pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi win her first seat in parliament.

Election monitors from Cambodia, which holds the ASEAN chair, have declared Sunday's vote free and fair, and urged the West to lift sanctions imposed over the Myanmar military's long record of rights abuses.

ASEAN foreign ministers applauded the "orderly" conduct of the polls during talks in Phnom Penh on Monday, setting the stage for a strong endorsement from the bloc's leaders at Wednesday's conclusion of the two-day summit.

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