UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari, Pranab Mukherjee discuss Myanmar situation

November 14th, 2007 - 2:43 am ICT by admin  
Gambari’s objective is to ask New Delhi to take a tougher line with Myanmar, but he is unlikely to get much encouragement from India.

Gambari is expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this evening in a bid to urge India to join international efforts to push Myanmar towards democracy after the military government crushed a monk-led revolt last month, a UN spokesman said.

But India has made it clear that it is keen to engage with Myanmar’s rulers to establish peace and democracy in that country, with whom India has a long border. India is also keen to access the country’s gas reserves.

India sent Petroleum Minister Murli Deora to Myanmar in the midst of last month’s pro-democracy protests. India is also pressing ahead with plans to develop a port on Myanmar’s north-western coast.

After India, Gambari will visit China on a regional tour meant to drum up support for a united front against Myanmar’s generals in Asia, where governments are loathe to impose sanctions against a neighbour, fearing that the situation may go out of control in that country.

On October 19, US President George W. Bush urged both China and India to step up pressure on their neighbour. He also expanded American sanctions against Myanmar’s rulers.

Last week, Singh was quoted as saying that India needed to “cooperate” with Myanmar.

Singh said insurgent groups from north-eastern India could take advantage of any estrangement between the neighbours. (ANI)

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