Special rapporteur invited to visit Burma

Oct 23, 2007 (DVB), The Burmese government has agreed to allow United Nations special rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro to visit Burma for the first time since 2003, the UN announced yesterday.

In a letter to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, Burma's foreign minister suggested that Pinheiro's visit to the country take place before the ASEAN summit meeting, which is to be held from 18 to 22 November in Singapore.

Pinheiro has been in his post as special rapporteur on human rights in Burma since 2000, but has not been able to visit the country since 2003.

UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari is also hoping to return to Burma after he has completed his visits to other countries in the region, but Burmese authorities have not yet approved any visit before November.

Gambari is currently in India as part of his regional consultations on Burma, which have so far included meetings with officials from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Reporting by DVB

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