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UN Envoy Meets With Burmese Leaders


United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari has met with senior Burmese officials as part of his bid to reconcile the military government and pro-democracy forces.

Burmese officials say Gambari met Sunday with Labor Minister Aung Kyi in Burma's isolated capital of Naypyidaw. The Burmese government has appointed Aung Kyi as liaison to detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

On Saturday, Gambari met in Rangoon with U.N. development coordinator Charles Petrie, whom the Burmese government has ordered to leave the country.

Burma's military leaders said they ordered Petrie's expulsion because of his comments about the dire state of economic and humanitarian affairs in Burma. U.N. officials say Gambari conveyed Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's support for Petrie and his work.

This is Gambari's second trip to Burma since September, when the military cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrators led by Buddhist monks.


The U.N. envoy has urged the government to start talks with pro-democracy leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Nobel Peace laureate's party, the National League for Democracy, won elections in 1990, but the military government refused to hand over power.

More than 100 Buddhist monks marched this week in central Burma in the first protests since the September crackdown.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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