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US Urges Passage of UN Security Council Resolution on Burma

The U.S. State Department has voiced its concern about what it calls the deteriorating humanitarian and political situation in military-ruled Burma, saying it poses a threat to stability in the region.

In a statement Thursday, State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey urged the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution to encourage Burma's leaders to change conditions in the country.

Casey said passage of a resolution would help Burma's leaders take concrete steps toward greater freedom and improved humanitarian conditions for the Burmese people.

The statement said the situation in Burma remains bleak. It said Washington remains committed to pursuing a Security Council resolution as soon as possible in the New Year.

The statement listed violence against ethnic minorities, forced labor, and the regime's detention of more than 1,100 political prisoners, including Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, as concerns.

Washington first proposed a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council in November.

Burmese officials say the passage of a resolution would amount to U.N. interference in Burma's internal affairs.

The U.N. General Assembly has already approved a resolution criticizing Burma's government for refusing to investigate widespread human rights violations.