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Constitutional talks in Myanmar not credible without full participation - Annan

Constitutional talks in Myanmar not credible without full participation - Annan

Constitutional talks in Myanmar would not be credible without the full participation of democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's party and other political groups, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned today.

The Secretary-General "noted with concern" that Myanmar's national convention was reconvened without the involvement of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and other political parties that won the majority of seats in the elections of 1990, his spokesman said in a statement.

"[He] reiterates that, for the national convention to be credible, it must be all-inclusive and that all the delegates must be able to express their views without sanction," spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

"The release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has clearly indicated her willingness to work with the Government, and U Tin Oo, Deputy Chairman of the NLD, as well as the lifting of the remaining restrictions on the NLD, are essential if the international community is to recognize the national convention as a legitimate forum for democratization and national reconciliation in Myanmar," he added.

Mr. Annan and his Special Envoy, Razali Ismail, were dismayed that, despite assurances from the Government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) did not take these necessary steps, the spokesman said.

"The Secretary-General appeals to the countries in the region to counsel the SPDC to take these steps," Mr. Eckhard said. "In the belief that a solution can still be found through dialogue, the Secretary-General calls on the SPDC to allow his Special Envoy to return to Myanmar as soon as possible."