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UN Envoy to Press India for Help with Burma


A UN envoy is traveling to India to lobby the world's largest democracy to push for political reconciliation in Burma, where pro-democracy protests were crushed with deadly force.

Ibrahim Gambari's trip to New Delhi Monday is part of a six-nation tour to press Asian nations to help resolve the political crisis in Burma. He will visit China next, before heading to Burma.

India and China are Burma's neighbors and have close economic and military ties with the military government. China has expressed concern about the unrest in Burma, but India has stayed largely silent.

Gambari has already held talks in Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. He set out on the tour after the Burmese soldiers opened fire in Rangoon last month on thousands of peaceful anti-government protesters, including Buddhist monks.

At least 10 people were killed and thousands arrested in Rangoon and other cities. Pro-democracy activists say the death toll was much higher.

Last week, the US announced new economic restrictions against Burma's military government, and the European Union decided to impose an import embargo on Burmese timber, gems and precious metals.

Gambari has suggested an alternative strategy - offering the military government incentives in exchange for democratic reforms, to show Burma's rulers the international community is not trying to punish them.

Information for this story is provided by AP and Reuters.

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