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Senator Mitch McConnell Meets With UN Special Envoy Razali On Burma - 2003-07-10


U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) today met with UN Special Envoy Razali to discuss the latest situation in Burma.

Senator McConnell is the author of the Senate legislation imposing a United States import ban on goods manufactured in Burma and those made by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and companies owned by SPDC. The bill passed on June 11, 2003.

Senator McConnell released the following statement following the meeting with Razali:

Last week, I sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to urge a meeting between the Security Council and UN Special Envoy Razali Ismail so that Mr. Razali could report to the Council on the critical situation in Burma.

Mr. Razali's current mandate to promote reconciliation between the repressive State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the National League for Democracy (NLD) and ethnic nationalities is no longer relevant in light of the brutal attack against freedom in Burma on May 30th.

Dialogue is as dead as those the SPDC murdered on Black Friday. This fact cannot be ignored or denied by the United Nations or the international community.

The President has invited UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the White House early next week, and I have asked the President to discuss the situation in Burma with Secretary-General Annan, should such a meeting occur.

I also recommended to the President that the Administration immediately issue an executive order that freezes SPDC assets in the United States, prohibits remittances to Burma, and imposes travel related restrictions to that country. In late June, the State Department indicated that this would occur, but we have yet to see any action.

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee put the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003-that imposes an import ban, visa restrictions, and other actions against the thugs in Burma - a step closer on its journey to the White House. I expect it will be considered by the full House early next week.

Let me clear that SPDC General Than Shwe will be held personally responsible for the security and safety of Suu Kyi and other democrats being held against their will.

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