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NLD responds to Burmese government's offer of meeting

Oct 10, 2007 (DVB), A statement has been issued by the National League for Democracy in response to the Burmese leadership's offer to meet detained NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi if certain conditions are met.

The statement, which was issued yesterday, welcomes the possibility of dialogue, but does not accept preconditions on the talks.

"To have a successful meeting, all that is needed is for participants from both sides to negotiate and look for a win-win solution, but not with pre-conditional agreements. What is necessary to solve the situation we are facing in our country is a willingness to have a dialogue," the statement said.

Junta leader senior general Than Shwe said recently that he will meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in person if she agrees to renounce her "obstructive and confrontational stance", including demands for sanctions.

The NLD statement draws on past speeches made by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, including a 2002 press conference in which she spoke of sanctions as a means for democratic countries to promote democratic reform in other states, and said that "we have to think of the long-term benefits to the people rather than the short-term".

However, it claims that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi did not specifically call for sanctions, but believed that the situation could be solved through "peaceful, face-to-face dialogue" between the government and opposition.

Following his recent visit to Burma, United Nations Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari has said he was "cautiously encouraged" by the possibility of dialogue, and has urged flexibility on all sides to make it happen.

The Burmese government has appointed a liaison officer to facilitate relations with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, but the NLD has not so far responded to this appointment.

"We have only just heard about the new liaison minister and we do not know any more about it," said U Lwin, a secretary and spokesperson for the NLD.

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw and DVB


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