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UN Secretary-General Praises Former Envoy to Burma


United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has praised his former special envoy to Burma, Razali Ismail, who resigned last week after failing to gain permission to visit the country for almost two years.

A U.N. spokesman quotes Mr. Annan as saying the Malaysian diplomat helped the world body facilitate national reconciliation and democratization in Burma. Sunday, Razali said he resigned because his official contract had ended.

He also said it is clear Burma's military regime does not want him back. Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar says the United Nations' failure to promote reform in Burma has put the country's military leaders under renewed international pressure.

Syed Hamid says the junta must not further delay his planned visit to Burma on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and must allow the regional group to help it on the road to democracy.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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