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Burma Leader's Offer to Meet with Aung San Suu Kyi Greeted with Skepticism


A spokesman for Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy U Nyan Win said Friday that the opposition leader will consider the reported offer.

Burmese state media said ruling General Than Shwe is willing to meet directly with Aung San Suu Kyi if she gives up her support for confrontation with and sanctions against the government.

But analysts and Burmese dissidents suggest the offer may be an attempt to dampen criticism ahead of a UN debate scheduled for today.

The United Nations Security Council will hear testimony today from the UN envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, who just returned from that country and a meeting with both Than Shwe and Aung San Suu Kyi.

The U.S. envoy in Rangoon, Shari Villarosa, was due to meet with Burma's military leaders today in the country's administrative capital, Naypyidaw.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said Thursday that she will send a very clear message to Burmese leaders to start a meaningful dialogue with democratic opposition groups and stop the violent crackdown on peaceful protests.

Burmese officials say the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters left 10 people dead. Dissidents put the number of fatalities at 200.

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