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UN Security Council to Discuss Burma

The United Nations Security Council will hold consultations on Burma Wednesday to consider how to respond to the military government's controversial new election laws.

Harriet Cross, a spokeswoman for Britain's U.N. mission, confirmed the meeting to VOA's Burmese service.

She did not say what Council members were considering, but noted that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown supports a proposed global arms embargo on Burma.

The briefing will precede a meeting that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is holding on Burma Thursday with representatives from 15 governments.

Mr. Ban has expressed concern about Burma's voting process, saying indications suggest the new election laws do not meet expectations of an inclusive political process.

The laws, in effect, prohibit detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners from taking part in the elections.

Burma has not yet set a date for the elections, which will be the country's first since 1990.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won the last elections, but the military government refused to give up power.

The democracy leader says she is opposed to her party registering for this year's vote. But she told her lawyer Tuesday that the party must decide for itself whether to participate in the election.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained for 14 of the last 20 years and is currently under house arrest.