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Burma: UN Envoy to Meet Burmese Leadership Next Week


Burmese officials say a top United Nations official will meet with leaders of the country's military government next week in an effort to repair strained relations with the isolated nation.

Burma's Information minister General Kyaw Hsan announced today that Ibrahim Gambari will travel to Burma at the invitation of the government. He said the UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs will meet with junta leader Than Shwe and visit the National Convention, where talks on constitutional reform are being held.

The minister did not say if Gambari would be allowed to meet pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for most of the last 17 years. He said the UN official has not yet asked to meet Aung San Suu Kyi or any other political prisoners.

During a visit to Burma in May, Gambari became the first foreigner allowed to see the democracy leader in more than two years.

Burma has been criticized by the UN and neighboring countries for human rights abuses and its reluctance to enact democratic reforms.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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