UN Envoy Sees Hopeful Signs in Burma

Junta's overtures to dissident Suu Kyi 'historic opportunity'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2007 6:56 PM CDT
UN Envoy Sees Hopeful Signs in Burma
U.N. Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari, center, greets diplomats after he briefed members of United Nations Security Council on his recent tour and findings in Myanmar at U.N. headquarters Friday, Oct. 5, 2007. Gambari said he is "cautiously encouraged" that Myanmar's military ruler is prepared to hold...   (Associated Press)

The UN's envoy to Burma told the Security Council today that a proposed meeting between the country's military leader and detained activist Aung San Suu Kyi was a "historic opportunity"—but only a first step toward ending mistrust that contributed to the government's recent crackdown. The US ambassador reiterated his threat of Council action, though China and Russia oppose any move.

Ibrahim Gambari said the release of all political prisoners was "a necessary step" towards progress. Although he was allowed two meetings with Suu Kyi, the government denied him access to members of her party. The government continues to round up pro-democracy protestors; dissident groups say more than 6,000 have been detained and 200 killed. (More Myanmar stories.)

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