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Kofi Anni Welcomes Burmese Military Junta's Moves To Democracy - 2003-12-20


UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he welcomes signs that Burma's leaders are committed to steps to move the nation to democracy.

Mr. Annan's spokesman, Fred Eckhard, said the secretary-general welcomes the Burmese government's "intention to reconvene the national convention and draft a new constitution in 2004."

He said Mr. Annan also is "encouraged" by a commitment made by Burma's foreign minister, Win Aung, that the government will implement its seven-step "road map" for the country's democratic transition in an "all-inclusive" manner.

Mr. Win Aung told a 12-nation meeting in Bangkok on Monday that Burma will hold a convention next year to draft a constitution as the first step in the "road map." Reports said he also agreed to let the opposition National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi take part in the convention.

Secretary-General Annan said he hopes his special representative, Razali Ismail, can visit Burma soon to "help facilitate the participation of all the parties concerned, including representatives of the National League for Democracy and national ethnic groups."

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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