France calls in Myanmar envoy over protests

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PARIS, Sep 25 (Reuters) The French Foreign Ministry said today it had summoned Myanmar's representative in Paris to express its concern about the situation in the country and to warn against any violent repression of pro-democracy protests.

The junta in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the country's two main cities after pouring security forces into Yangon to try to end the biggest protests again military rule in nearly 20 years.

''The Foreign Ministry expressed to Burma's Charge d'Affaires its serious concern and warned the Burmese authorities over any attempt on their part to forcefully repress the peaceful protests under way,'' the foreign ministry said in a statement.

''It was pointed out to him that the authorities ... would be held reponsible for the security of the protests and more generally for the Myanmar population.'' The foreign ministry also repeated its call for the release of all political prisoners, notably of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is in New York for the UN general assembly, said earlier he was concerned about the situation and called on the authorities not to use force against the protesters.

Tomorrow, he was due to meet opposition leader Sein Win who heads a self-proclaimed government-in-exile.

Reuters KK VP0107

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