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Burma's FM to UN: Country is Committed to Democracy - 2003-09-30


Burma's foreign minister has told the United Nations General Assembly his country is committed to democracy, even though the government continues to restrict the movements of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Foreign Minister Win Aung did not mention Aung San Suu Kyi by name in his address Monday. But he said the military council that rules Burma has what he called the "political will" to effect a smooth transition to democracy.

Aung San Suu Kyi spent nearly four months in detention at a secret location before going to a Rangoon hospital for major surgery two weeks ago. She was released from the hospital last Friday to recuperate, but is still under house arrest.

Her detention has helped disrupt a reconciliation process between the government and the opposition, and it has helped increase Burma's isolation from the rest of the world.

On Tuesday, the special UN envoy to Burma is to arrive in that country, on a mission to revive dialogue between the government and Aung San Suu Kyi. Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail is expected to meet with senior leaders and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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