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Chief UN Envoy to Burma in Rangoon for Talks on Diplomat's Expulsion


United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari has arrived in Burma in a new bid to reconcile the military government and pro-democracy forces.

On arrival Saturday in Rangoon, Gambari met with U.N. development coordinator Charles Petrie, whom the Burmese government has ordered to leave the country.

Burma's military leaders said they ordered Petrie's expulsion because of his comments about the dire state of the economy and humanitarian affairs in Burma.

The U.N. office in Rangoon said Gambari expressed Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's support for Petrie and his work.

This is Gambari's second trip to Burma since September, when the military cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrators led by Buddhist monks. The U.N. envoy has urged the government to start talks with pro-democracy leaders including detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Nobel Peace laureate's party, the Natiuonal League for Democracy, won elections in 1990, but the military government refused to hand over power.

More than 100 Buddhist monks marched this week in central Burma in the first protests since the September crackdown.

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