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Myanmar leader snubs U.N. envoy

  • Story Highlights
  • U.N. special envoy Gambari meets with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi
  • Gambari, however, once more failed to meet with junta chief
  • Than Shwe also refused to meet Gambari during his last visit in November
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YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- The U.N.'s special envoy to Myanmar met detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi before wrapping up his latest trip to the military-ruled country, a visit marred by the junta chief's refusal to meet him.

U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari failed to meet with junta chairman Senior Gen. Than Shwe.

Ibrahim Gambari met Suu Kyi for almost an hour Monday at a state guest house near her lakeside home in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city. Gambari had also met Saturday with Suu Kyi, who has been detained for 12 of the past 18 years. Details of the meeting have not be made public.

After the session with Suu Kyi, Gambari met for a second time with the regime's information minister, Kyaw Hsan, according to state radio and television.

Gambari failed to meet with junta chairman Senior Gen. Than Shwe, though such a meeting had been described by the United Nations as one of the main goals of Gambari's five-day visit.

Than Shwe also refused to meet Gambari during his last visit in November.

During Gambari's visit, the junta rejected U.N. suggestions that it amend its "roadmap to democracy" to include input from the country's pro-democracy movement and other parties.

It also turned down other suggestions to foster political reconciliation, such as accelerating a dialogue with Suu Kyi and freeing political prisoners.

"The junta's roadmap process is the most suitable and appropriate method toward achieving a smooth and peaceful transition toward democracy," Kyaw Hsan was quoted as saying Monday on state television.

Kyaw Hsan, who headed the team set up to talk to Gambari about the democratization process, said the government has taken all necessary measures to make Myanmar's political transition process all inclusive.

"If the U.N. cooperates with the process, Myanmar will be able to achieve its democratic goal desired by the U.N., the international community, the people and dissidents," he said.


Gambari departed late Monday, according to a statement from the U.N. office in Myanmar, which added that he will be reporting on his mission to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The U.N. released no details about Gambari's meetings.

Gambari arrived in Myanmar last Thursday on his third mission to broker political reconciliation efforts and urge democratic reforms since the junta's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in September sparked a global outcry. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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