US envoy calls on Burmese military junta to hold talks with Suu Kyi

November 14th, 2007 - 2:01 am ICT by admin  
U.S.President George W Bush’s special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has reportedly said that the country’s military leaders need to prepare for a transition of power.

Khalilzad, the US envoy to the UN, has urged the military regime to begin talks with detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, even as the UN is debating a statement “strongly deploring” the recent crackdown on peaceful protests.

At least 10 people were killed and thousands detained after an uprising led by Buddhist monks last month.

Khalilzad was quoted by the BBC as saying that UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who recently met senior figures during a four-day visit to Burma, should return to the country very soon to assist in talks.

“We believe it’s very important… that there be negotiations for a transition and that we need to start preparing ourselves with regard to a transition in Burma,” he told reporters.

“It’s very important that a serious dialogue on transition begins and that the international community, regional players, play their roles.”

There would still be a role for Burma’s military, as a national institution, within this transition, he said.

Meanwhile, the US, UK and France have circulated a statement calling for democratisation and the release of political prisoners for the approval of other Security Council members.

Burmese General Than Shwe has offered conditional talks with Aung San Suu Kyi. (ANI)

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