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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 01:30 GMT 02:30 UK
In quotes: Burma reaction
Monk and protesters look down a Rangoon street at riot police on 26 September
Burmese soldiers fired tear gas to try to disperse the crowds
Burmese security forces have launched a crackdown on thousands of demonstrators in the main city of Rangoon, during a ninth day of protests against the military government.

Key international and regional powers have been responding to the escalating crisis.

JOINT EUROPEAN UNION-UNITED STATES STATEMENT

We are deeply troubled by reports that security forces have fired on and attacked peaceful demonstrators and arrested many Buddhist monks and others. We condemn all violence against peaceful demonstrators and remind the country's leaders of their personal responsibility for their actions.

We call on the authorities to stop violence and to open a process of dialogue with pro democracy leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi and representatives of ethnic minorities. We urge China, India, Asean and others in the region to use their influence in support of the people of Burma.

We urge the country's authorities to receive an early visit by the UN Secretary General's envoy Ibrahim Gambari. We call on the Security Council to discuss this situation urgently and consider further steps including sanctions.

US PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH

Americans are outraged by the situation in Burma, where a military junta has imposed a 19-year reign of fear.

The United States will tighten economic sanctions on the leaders of the regime and their financial backers. We will impose and expand a visa ban on those responsible for the most egregious violations of human rights, as well as their family members. We will continue to support the efforts of humanitarian groups working to alleviate suffering in Burma, and I urge the United Nations and all nations to use their diplomatic and economic leverage to help the Burmese people reclaim their freedom.

UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN

I hope the Security Council will meet immediately, meet today, discuss this issue, and look at what can be done. And the first thing that can be done is that the UN envoy should be sent to Burma and I hope he is in a position to go, and make sure the Burmese regime directly is aware that any trampling of human rights that takes place will have the whole eyes of the world upon them and will not be acceptable in the future.

FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY

I will show France's support. We do not accept violent repression.

I am following the situation in Burma with great concern. I call for spontaneous, peaceful protests, which are expressing fair social and political demands, not to be repressed by force.

LOUISE ARBOUR, UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

The fact that the protests are visible is already a measure of protection... These demonstrations have attracted much more media coverage than in the past and that gives hope that there will not be completely unacceptable reprisals.

JAVIER SOLANA, EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF

We want this situation to stop. We would like the get a process of negotiation and normalisation of the life of Burma. And we already have sanctions imposed on the authorities and we will be in a position to increase the level of sanctions when the situation deteriorates.

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY

China has consistently implemented a policy of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs. As Burma's neighbours, we hope to see stability and economic development in Burma. We hope and believe that the government and people of Burma will properly deal with the current problem.

RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

We consider any attempts to use the latest developments to exercise outside pressure or interference in the domestic affairs of this sovereign state to be counterproductive. We still believe that the processes under way in Myanmar do not threaten international and regional peace and security.

We expect the country's authorities, as well as the participants in protest marches, to exercise mutual constraint not to allow further destabilisation of the situation.

INDIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

The government of India is concerned at, and is closely monitoring, the situation in Myanmar [Burma]. It is our hope that all sides will resolve their issues peacefully through dialogue. India has always believed that Myanmar's process of political reform and national reconciliation should be more inclusive and broad-based.

THAI PRIME MINISTER SURAYUD CHULANONT

I'm trying my best to convince the Burmese: "Don't use the harsh measures." At the least they should try to avoid the violent action from the government side.

As a Buddhist and as a soldier, I can say that it will be very difficult for the Burmese government to use violence to crack down on the monks. It will be against the way of life of the Buddhists.

SINGAPOREAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

Singapore is deeply concerned by reports of clashes between protesters and security forces in Yangon [Rangoon]. We urge the Myanmar authorities to exercise utmost restraint. We call upon all parties to avoid provocative actions and to work towards reconciliation and a peaceful resolution of the situation.

JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTRY

We urge the government of Myanmar to respond calmly to the demonstrations. We also strongly urge that the government of Myanmar take seriously the wishes of the people as evidenced by the demonstrations and begin talks with a view to achieving reconciliation and democratisation.

MARTY NATALEGAWA, INDONESIAN PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UN

We are seriously following these developments very closely. We are concerned by it. We are calling on the authorities to exercise maximum restraint and desist from any acts that could cause further violence.

Indonesia's approach has always been one of engagement, not necessarily meaning that we are less concerned about the situation therein. We are just convinced that the best way to go is through engagement and encouragement.

AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ALEXANDER DOWNER

I don't think the United Nations is likely to be the vehicle for change, for international change on Burma. I think really you have to work through China and the Chinese, because China is the country that has the greatest degree of influence over the Burmese leadership.

ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER ROMANO PRODI

The international community must mobilise to uphold respect for human rights everywhere in the world and to ensure liberty to express people's own opinions and dissent in a peaceful way.

SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTRY

We join those who have asked the authorities in Myanmar to exercise maximum control because violent repression of the recent protests could have very serious consequences.


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