Thursday, 24 July 2008

UN mediator's Myanmar trip must yield progress: global group

UNITED NATIONS (ST)- A GROUP of countries trying to foster democratic rule in Myanmar said on Wednesday that UN mediator Ibrahim Gambari's upcoming visit to the military-ruled country must yield 'tangible progress,' the world body said.

UN chief Mr Ban Ki Moon convened the meeting of the so-called Group of Friends of the Secretary General on Myanmar to discuss Gambari's upcoming trip, according to a UN statement.

'The Group noted their expectations that Mr Gambari's next visit would need to yield tangible progress on the issues of concern to the international community,' it added.

The group specifically said progress was expected 'with regard to the resumption of dialogue between (detained opposition leader) Aung San Suu Kyi and the government, the credibility of the electoral process, and the regularization of engagement with the good offices of the Secretary General.'

The meeting of the group, which was set up last December, brought together Australia, Britain, China, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States, Vietnam, the European Community and the European Union.

Mr Gambari is planning a return visit to Myanmar in mid-August at the invitation of the military regime.

He previously traveled to Myanmar in March to mediate reconciliation talks between the military regime rulers and Ms Aung San Suu Kyi. -- AFP

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