Gambari meets junta officials

Nov 5, 2007 (DVB), United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has been holding meetings with Burmese government ministers and UN officials since his arrival in Burma on Saturday.

Gambari arrived in Rangoon on Saturday to follow up on any progress towards dialogue and national reconciliation made since his last visit to the country from 29 September to 2 October.

He has also been asked to deliver a message from UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to junta leader senior general Than Shwe.

Gambari's first visit was to the UN resident coordinator for Burma, Charles Petrie, who has recently been informed by the military regime that his mandate in the country will not be renewed following a statement issued by the UN country team that criticised the government for failing to meet the basic needs of the people.

On 4 November Gambari had talks with Burmese foreign minister Nyan Win and minister for labour Aung Kyi, who also acts as minister for relations between detained National League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the junta.

The special envoy is due to meet the prime minister, lieutenant general Thein Sein, and other senior government officials over the course of his visit, but it is not yet clear if he will visit junta leader senior general Than Shwe personally during his trip.

He also hopes to talk to key opposition leaders, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, whom he met twice during his last visit, and others to whom he was previously denied access.

Gambari's trip is due to finish on 8 November, though a UN press release says he will stay in the country "as long as necessary to complete his mission".

Reporting by DVB

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