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UN envoy to visit Myanmar on Monday

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August 16, 2008

UN envoy to visit Myanmar on Monday
UN special envoy for Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari will visit the Southeast Asian nation for talks with the ruling junta on improving democracy and human rights, said Reuters on Friday.

Reuters quoted UN spokesman Farhan Haq as telling reporters that Gambari was to leave New York later on Friday for the five-day visit, his fourth since Myanmar’s military authorities crushed pro-democracy marches in September.

Gambari’s visit was announced last month, but no dates were given. He has said his last visit in March was a disappointment and yielded no concrete results.

In May, Myanmar was hit by a catastrophic cyclone, which left 138,000 people dead or missing. During the month, Myanmar approved a new military-drafted constitution, part of a “roadmap to democracy” meant to culminate in multi-party elections in 2010. Western countries described as “fatally flawed” a referendum that backed the constitution.

Western nations were also angered by a decision by the junta to extend the house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi weeks after the cyclone, which had brought in millions of dollars in foreign aid.

The military has ruled Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, since 1962.

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