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Thai PM Proposes Regional Talks on Burma


Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has asked a UN special envoy to help broker regional talks on Burma's political crisis.

Mr. Surayud says the talks could include 10 Southeast Asian nations, India and China. He raised the proposal with the UN's Ibrahim Gambari in Bangkok Monday.

Gambari travels next to Malaysia, Indonesia, India, China and Japan to gather support for political reconciliation in Burma.

The UN envoy is set to return to Burma in mid-November, but Mr. Surayud said he would send a letter to the military government asking that Gambari be allowed to visit sooner.

In Luxembourg Monday, European foreign ministers are expected to strengthen European Union sanctions against Burma. The restrictions are to include an import embargo on timber, gems and metals.

Also Monday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged the world's largest economies to support Burma's recovery if the military government agreed to democratic reforms.

But he said Britain would push for tough sanctions against the military if it does not stop its violent crackdown on pro-democracy supporters.

Burmese authorities opened fire on thousands of anti-government demonstrators in Rangoon last month. Since then, authorities have arrested thousands of monks and activists.

The UN's Gambari demanded Burma's military government stop arresting activists, and release all political detainees.

Information for this story is provided by AP, AFP, and Reuters.

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