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Burmese Democracy Leader Meets with UN Envoy

U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari met Saturday with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and senior leaders of her National League for Democracy party.

The Nobel Peace laureate was seen being driven from her Rangoon home, where she has been held under house arrest for 12 of the last 18 years. She was taken to the nearby State Guesthouse, where Gambari has held most of his meetings since arriving Thursday.

Gambari is in Burma on a mission to persuade the military government to hold direct negotiations with Aung San Suu Kyi, and allow her NLD party to participate in the country's political process.

Burma's military rulers have refused to amend a draft constitution that bars Aung San Suu Kyi from public office.

Burma's state television quotes the information minister, Brigadier General Kyaw Hsan, as saying the government is committed to what it calls its seven-step roadmap to democracy.

The TV report said he made the remarks Friday during talks with Gambari.

The draft constitution prohibits anyone married to a foreigner from running for public office. Aung San Suu Kyi was married to a British citizen who died of cancer in 1999.

Since Gambari's arrival, he has met with several government officials, foreign diplomats and a local representative of the International Red Cross.

The Nigerian diplomat's visit to Burma is his third since the military government's crackdown on pro-democracy protests last September, which the U.N. says killed more than 30 people.

The government last month announced plans to hold a nationwide constitutional referendum in May and general elections in 2010.

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