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UN Says Path to Substantive Dialogue Opened in Burma


United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari says a path to dialogue between detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma's military leaders was opened during his six-day visit to the country.

Gambari wrapped up his visit to Burma Thursday after meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi at a state guest house in Rangoon.

In a U.N. statement released after the meeting, Gambari said a process has begun that would lead to "substantive dialogue" between the government and Aung San Suu Kyi.

However, on Wednesday, Burma's military leaders rejected Gambari's proposal to arrange a three-way meeting between a Burmese official, Aung San Suu Kyi and himself.

The U.N. envoy's visit was his second to Burma since a violent September crackdown on pro-democracy protesters killed at least 10 people and led to the detention of nearly 3,000 others.

He had hoped to also meet with Burma's top military leader, General Than Shwe, but that meeting did not occur.

The government criticized the envoy's call for U.N.-brokered talks with Aung San Suu Kyi and accused the world body of interference.

A Burmese official was quoted by state media as saying that Burma would not bow to outside pressure.

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

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