The special United Nations envoy for Burma has left the country after failing to secure the release of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail says he remains optimistic, despite the circumstances. He says that during his three days of talks in Rangoon, he stressed the need for all parties to work together on the so-called road map to democracy.
Burma's Prime Minister Khin Nyunt unveiled the seven-point road map in late August, promising democratic reforms and new elections. He gave no timetable for the process.
Mr. Razali described his trip as useful, but he said he got no assurances from the military government that it will release Aung San Suu Kyi anytime soon. The UN envoy said he will report to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and will return to Burma before the end of the year.
Aung San Suu Kyi is under house arrest at her home in Rangoon, where she is recovering from surgery. The 58-year-old pro-democracy leader has been detained since late May, following a violent clash between her supporters and pro-government demonstrators.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.