Myanmar: UN envoy to visit earlier than planned

Ibrahim Gambari

23 October 2007 – Myanmar has agreed to allow United Nations Envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who is currently touring regional capitals to garner support ahead of a planned visit to the country in mid-November, to visit even sooner, the spokesperson for the world body announced today.

Mr. Gambari “expects to visit Myanmar in the first week of November, as the Myanmar Government agreed to bring forward his standing invitation to the country,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York.

“While the exact travel dates have yet to be arranged, Mr. Gambari would be going to Myanmar directly from the region, continuing his consultations with key regional countries in the interim,” she added.

Dispatched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to consult with regional leaders on how to address the ongoing crisis in Myanmar, Mr. Gambari has met so far with officials in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Special Envoy was in New Delhi today where he met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to whom he delivered a personal message from the Secretary-General.

The two leaders had “detailed and substantive discussions” on the UN’s efforts in Myanmar and India’s support in this regard, according to Ms. Montas.

Mr. Gambari “has been urging India and other regional countries to actively encourage the Government of Myanmar to continue to cooperate with the Secretary-General’s good offices efforts, including by addressing continuing human rights concerns and by encouraging Myanmar to receive Mr. Gambari as early as possible in order to kick-start a dialogue with the opposition.”

The Special Envoy is now on his way to Beijing, where he is scheduled to meet with senior officials before going on to Tokyo for consultations with Japanese counterparts.

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