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Aung San Suu Kyi Ready To Work With Burma Govt

Pro-democracy leader ready to cooperate with Myanmar authorities - UN envoy

Detained pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi today stated her readiness to cooperate with the Myanmar Government as United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari wrapped up a visit to the troubled Asian nation by voicing confidence that substantive dialogue between authorities and the opposition can begin soon.

"In the interest of the nation, I stand ready to cooperate with the Government in order to make this process of dialogue a success and welcome the necessary good offices role of the United Nations to help facilitate our efforts in this regard," Ms. Suu Kyi said in a statement delivered to Mr. Gambari during their meeting earlier in the day in Yangon, and which he read out to reporters upon his later arrival in Singapore.

A Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Ms. Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for four years, and has spent 11 years in detention since her party - the National League for Democracy - and its allies won the 1990 election with over 80 per cent of the parliamentary seats.

"I wish to thank all those who have stood by my side all this time, both inside and outside my country," she said, also expressing her gratitude to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his "unwavering support for the cause of national reconciliation, democracy and human rights in my country."

Ms. Suu Kyi recently held discussions with U Aung Kyi, Minister for Labour and Minister for Relations, who was appointed by the Myanmar authorities as a liaison officer to start dialogue between the Government and the opposition.

Describing their first meeting as "constructive," she said she expects that "this phase of preliminary consultations will conclude soon so that a meaningful and time-bound dialogue with the SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] leadership can start as early as possible."

Also today, the Government announced its decision to allow Ms. Suu Kyi to meet with the leaders of her party tomorrow.

"We now have a process going which would lead to substantive dialogue between the Government and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as a key instrument in promoting national reconciliation in an all-inclusive manner," Mr. Gambari said in his own statement, issued at the conclusion of his second visit to the country since Government forces began using force to respond to peaceful protesters in August.

"The sooner such a dialogue can start, the better for Myanmar," he added.

While in Myanmar, Mr. Gambari held talks with senior Government officials on accelerating the process of inclusive national reconciliation, the restoration of democracy and full respect for human rights, stressing that returning to the status quo before the recent crisis broke out would not be sustainable.

He also met with the UN Country Team and the diplomatic corps in Yangon during his visit, which began on 3 November.

Mr. Gambari will now return to New York, where he will brief the Secretary-General on his mission.

He has been invited by the Government to return to Myanmar and expects to do so in the next few weeks, a spokesperson for the world body said.


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