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Ban discusses Myanmar during talks with Singapore’s leaders

Ban discusses Myanmar during talks with Singapore’s leaders

Secretary -General Ban Ki-moon, (left) meets Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore
The situation in Myanmar and the global economic crisis topped the agenda today when Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held talks with Singapore’s leaders on the latest stop of his international trip.

Mr. Ban met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and later had a working dinner with Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong after arriving earlier today in the small South-East Asian country.

Mr. Lee reiterated Singapore’s supports for the good offices of the United Nations Secretary-General and for the work of Mr. Ban’s Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari on Myanmar, which Mr. Ban is slated to visit tomorrow.

While in Singapore the Secretary-General also discussed the challenges facing the international community, particularly the global economic crisis, as well as UN-Singaporean relations.

Mr. Ban had arrived in Singapore from Japan, where he stressed to top officials the need for the country’s leadership in “sealing the deal” on an ambitious climate change pact in Copenhagen, Denmark, this December.

Tomorrow morning, he is scheduled to travel to Myanmar for a two-day visit, arriving in Yangon and travelling on to the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, where he will hold talks with Senior General Than Shwe.

Ahead of that trip, the Secretary-General has listed his four main areas of concern: the release of all political prisoners, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi; the resumption of Government-opposition dialogue as part of the national reconciliation process; the need to create conditions necessary for credible elections; and the importance of building on the joint humanitarian effort that emerged in the wake of last year’s devastating Cyclone Nargis.

From Myanmar, he will travel to Switzerland, Ireland and Italy, before returning to New York.