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UN’s Myanmar envoy holds talks with regional leaders in Singapore

UN’s Myanmar envoy holds talks with regional leaders in Singapore

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser on Myanmar is in Singapore, where he is meeting with various regional leaders taking part in this week’s summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Ibrahim Gambari met today with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines and held informal consultations with six ASEAN foreign ministers, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York.

The envoy also met with Prime Minister Thein Sein and Foreign Minister Nyan Win of Myanmar.

Ms. Montas noted that Mr. Gambari is using his time in Singapore to meet with officials who are interested in dealing with Myanmar.

“The ASEAN leaders recognized that the recent visit to Myanmar had resulted in several steps in the right direction and that the UN has been playing a vital role in the process of national reconciliation in Myanmar,” she stated. “They also encouraged the leaders of Myanmar to continue to work with the UN in several concrete ways.”

Mr. Gambari, who travelled to Singapore at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his capacity as the Chair of ASEAN, is scheduled to hold bilateral consultations tomorrow with various leaders.

Following his stop in Singapore, the Special Adviser will travel to Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam. While he does plan to return to Myanmar before the end of the year, Ms. Montas noted that a date has not been fixed yet.

In a related development, Mr. Ban has congratulated the Heads of State meeting in Singapore on the signing today of the ASEAN Charter.

“In declaring their commitment to the principles of human rights and democracy, the ASEAN leaders have collectively taken a historic step towards closer integration and cooperation to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations in the region,” the Secretary-General said in a statement issued today.