UN envoy to visit Burma in mid-August

Jul 16, 2008 (DVB), United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari is planning to return to Burma in August on the invitation of the military regime, the UN announced yesterday.

Gambari's latest trip was originally planned for May, but was postponed due to the devastating effects of Cyclone Nargis on parts of the country.

This will be the special envoy's fourth visit to the country since the regime's brutal crackdown on public demonstrations last September.

A UN spokesperson said that Gambari planned to continue his dialogue with all relevant parties, but said the schedule for the visit had not yet been finalised.

Since his last visit, the Burmese junta has been widely condemned for its slow response to the cyclone and its obstruction of international aid efforts.

The regime has also faced heavy criticism for going ahead with its planned referendum to approve the new national constitution on 10 and 24 May despite the devastation caused by the cyclone.

Reporting by Siân Thomas

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