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Brussels, 12 May 2008

Following the deteriorating situation in Burma, Louis Michel calls for an urgent meeting of EU development ministers

In view of the massive scale of destruction and need caused by the cyclone Nargis, and the acceptance by Burmese authorities to receive international assistance, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, has called for an urgent meeting of EU ministers in charge of humanitarian aid to be held in Brussels next Tuesday 13th of May.

The purpose of the meeting will be to review the situation and to beef up the response of the EU Member States and the European Commission to this emergency situation. The Commission and the EU ministers will also try to identify and co-ordinate the best means of facilitating the mobilisation and delivery of international humanitarian assistance.

Commissioner Louis Michel has indicated that he intends to travel to Myanmar Burma next Tuesday, 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.

"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", said Commissioner Michel.

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