Myanmar UN envoy urges government opposition to hold dialogue on key issues

Razali Ismail, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Myanmar, made his comments at the conclusion of a five-day visit to Yangon, where he met with top government officials, including Prime Minister Senior General Than Shwe and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD).He urged both sides “to maximize and develop the existing channel of discussion” in order to begin a substantive dialogue. Mr. Razali recommended that the Government take steps to reconvene the National Convention “in a manner acceptable to all parties” committed to the reconciliation process. He made a similar appeal to the NLD as well as representatives of Myanmar’s other political parties, who he also met with during the trip.In addition, the envoy reiterated his call for the Government to release “at one time a very substantive number” of political prisoners by the end of this year. Pledging to continue to facilitate national reconciliation and democratization in Myanmar, Mr. Razali said he will return to the country early next year to assess developments.

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