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Nov 27, 2007 (AP), The prime minister of Burma and the UN’s special envoy to the military-ruled country will take turns visiting Cambodia this week to discuss Burma’s political crisis, officials said Wednesday.
Cambodian government spokesman Khieu Kanharith declined to comment on whether the timing of the two visits was coincidental, but said that Cambodia is not playing an intermediary role in the Burma crisis.
After Burma’s September crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, Cambodia joined countries around the world in calling for the junta to halt its violence and embrace democracy. Prime Minister Hun Sen also called for the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to play a more active role in resolving the crisis.
Ibrahim Gambari, the UN Secretary General’s envoy, will arrive Thursday to meet with Cambodian officials, said Hua Jiang, a UN diplomat traveling with the envoy. The trip is Gambari’s latest tour through ASEAN nations to coax Burma’s neighbors to promote reconciliation between the junta and a suppressed pro-democracy movement.
Gambari is scheduled to leave Cambodia on Friday.
On the same day, Burma’s Prime Minister Lt. Gen. Thein Sein will arrive for a three-day visit to Cambodia, the foreign ministry said in a statement posted on its official Web site.
Burma’s leader will hold talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen and the leaders of Cambodia’s parliament, said the statement, which provided no other details.
Burma sparked global outrage in September when the country’s ruling military junta crushed pro-democracy protests led by Buddhist monks, killing at least 15 people. Nearly 3,000 were arrested, most of whom have been released, according to the junta.
During Gambari’s visit to Burma, the junta assured him that political arrests would stop, but more were reported after he left.
Gambari visited Vietnam earlier this week and is scheduled to travel to Laos after leaving Cambodia.