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UN's Special Envoy to Burma Wants Stronger Role to Resolve Crisis


United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari has met with Asian leaders on the sidelines of a regional summit in Singapore and says his role in helping resolve Burma's political crisis needs to be bolstered.

Speaking with some Asian leaders Wednesday, Gambari said that he needs to test Burma's willingness to live up to its pledge to work with the world body.

Gambari was originally scheduled to deliver a formal briefing at a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other Asian leaders this week on his efforts to resolve the crisis. But that briefing was called off following opposition from Burma, which is a member of ASEAN.

Gambari said that while he was disappointed about the cancellation, he was satisfied that he was still able to meet informally with regional leaders during his trip to Singapore.

Gambari has visited Burma twice since the military government's violent September crackdown on pro-democracy and anti-government protesters that killed at least 15 people.

As Asian leaders met today, Philippine President Gloria Arroyo spoke out against Burma and the continued detention of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Ms. Arroyo demanded that Aung San Suu Kyi be released.

Ms. Arroyo urged ASEAN leaders to actively promote reforms in Burma.

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

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