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Myanmar: UN Envoy Sees Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar: UN Envoy Sees Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; Annan Urges Her Release

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the report from his Special Envoy for Myanmar that he has seen Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, but also remained seriously concerned that she and other democracy leaders were still denied freedom of movement and urged the Government to release them.

The Special Envoy, Razali Ismail, met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi shortly before he left Yangon on Tuesday to wind up his five-day mission to Myanmar, and reported that she is uninjured and in good spirits, according to a spokesman for the Secretary-General.

Mr. Razali had been in Myanmar from 6 June under a specific instruction from the Secretary-General to see Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who had been held incommunicado under "protective custody" since the violent clashes on 30 May between her supporters and pro-government protesters in northern Myanmar.

"However, the Secretary-General remains seriously concerned about the fact that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD) are still denied freedom of movement," spokesman Fred Eckhard said in a statement. "He, once again, strongly urges the Government of Myanmar to release her and other NLD leaders from the continued detention immediately and begin a dialogue aimed at national reconciliation without further delay."

At the same time, the Secretary-General called on the international community, and especially countries in the region, to join in his appeal to safeguard the process of national reconciliation and democratization in Myanmar, "which continues to represent the only guarantee for progress towards prosperity and stability," the statement said. "He continues to believe that the present situation is not merely a question of 'law and order,' but rather one that derives from the political aspirations of the Myanmar people who are overwhelmingly in favour of change," it added.

The Special Envoy is expected to visit New York later this month to discuss with the Secretary-General and representatives of the international community, especially the countries of the region, future steps that need to be taken to implement the mandate given by the General Assembly to facilitate national reconciliation and democratization in Myanmar.

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