While welcoming the release today by authorities in Myanmar of 249 prisoners throughout the country, United Nations Secretary-General reiterated his call for the lifting of remaining constraints on all political leaders.
In a statement issued by his spokesman in New York, Mr. Annan welcomed the release of the prisoners, reportedly including two prominent journalists and a close aide of the still-detained National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
"The Secretary-General reiterates his call for the lifting of remaining constraints on all political leaders and the re-opening of NLD offices. He further calls on the Myanmar authorities to resume their political dialogue with all parties concerned," the spokesman said.
Over the past several years Mr. Annan, in concert with his Special Envoy Razali Ismail, has been pushing the Government of the South Asian country to allow a role for opposition parties such as the NLD. Just last month, Mr. Annan marked the 60th birthday of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, by appealing to Myanmar's military Government to end her house arrest.