13 Apr 2007

Singapore ban on foreign speakers may affect EU ties

Not a great day for the Peoples Action Party of Singapore. Then again it is Friday the 13th.

Friday 13 April 2007 from jurnalo

European Union lawmakers banned from speaking at a public forum in Singapore warned Friday they intended to take up the issue in the European Parliament.A statement by the EU assembly's Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, whose members were banned from speaking at the public forum, warned that the "unprecedented situation. throws into question democratic co-operation with Singapore. "

A spokesman for the group told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa the incident raised questions about Singapore's commitment to human rights and democracy.

As such, the liberal group would "consider withholding approval" of a new EU-Singapore cooperation agreement being negotiated by the two sides, the spokesman said.

The European Parliament must ratify all EU pacts with foreign countries. The EU assembly has held up several EU agreements in past years because of human rights concerns.

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