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ASEAN plays key role in helping Myanmar, UN envoy stresses

ASEAN plays key role in helping Myanmar, UN envoy stresses

UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari
Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have a significant role to play in helping Myanmar on the path to democratization and national reconciliation, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Myanmar said in Jakarta today.

Ibrahim Gambari told the press that ASEAN members made their position clear last September at the United Nations and then the following month at their summit in Singapore. He also stressed that he will continue engaging these countries, since Myanmar itself is an ASEAN member.

Mr. Gambari was speaking to reporters following his meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda, in which they discussed how the UN and Indonesia can increase their collaboration with respect to Myanmar, where authorities cracked down on peaceful protesters last summer.

From Jakarta, the Envoy, who is in the region to promote democratization and national reconciliation in Myanmar, will travel to Singapore and Tokyo for further consultations. Before arriving in Indonesia, he had stopped in Beijing.

Yesterday, Mr. Gambari said that he hopes to return to Myanmar in the first week of March and that the South-East Asian nation's authorities are in the process of inviting him.