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Burmese Government Rejects Call for UN-Brokered Talks With Opposition


Burma's military government has rejected a United Nations special envoy's call for U.N.-brokered talks with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, is on his second visit to Burma since a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in September.

State media say a Burmese official told Gambari that holding the proposed talks with Aung San Suu Kyi is impossible, and that Burma will not bow to outside pressure.

The protests, which were led by Buddhist monks, were triggered by rising fuel prices but grew into large pro-democracy demonstrations. A U.N. statement issued in New York said Gambari has warned Burmese officials against what he called "a return to the status quo."

Gambari is scheduled to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her National League for Democracy Thursday.

The party won elections in Burma in 1990 by a landslide, but the military never agreed to hand over power.

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

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