Gambari Had ‘Good Discussion’ in Burma: Ban
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Gambari Had ‘Good Discussion’ in Burma: Ban

By LALIT K JHA Wednesday, February 11, 2009


WASHINGTON — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said his Burma envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, had a good discussion with the second-tier leaders of the military junta and pro-democracy opposition leaders during his recent trip to Burma.

In his monthly press conference on Tuesday at UN headquarters in New York, Ban said he looks forward to building on the talks to re-establish democracy and the protection of human rights in Burma.

"It's true that Gambari was not able to meet with Sen Gen Than Shwe," Ban acknowledged in response to a question.

"But he was able to meet with Prime Minister Gen Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi and executive members of the NLD [National League for Democracy] party,"  Ban noted. Pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi is being detained under house arrest by the military government.

Referring to the briefing he received from Gambari in New Delhi shortly after the latter's visit to Burma, Ban said: "He (Gambari) had good discussions there, even though one may not be totally satisfied."

Ban said: "I look forward to building on this visit with the view to further promoting national dialogue and reconciliation through his good offices and my good offices."

The UN secretary-general repeated his call for the release of all political prisoners including Suu Kyi.

"I would again call on the government and opposition to resume substantive dialogue without preconditions and without further delay," he said.

Ban is expected to convene a meeting of the 14-member Group of Friends on Burma to share with them the details of Gambari's visit and discuss with them the way forward.

"I'm going to discuss this matter with the Group of Friends on Myanmar in a short period of time, in the near future," Ban said.

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