UN envoy hoping for ‘fruitful’ visit to Myanmar

YANGON, Sept 29, 2007 (AFP) – UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari arrived in military-ruled Myanmar on Saturday and headed straight to the junta’s isolated capital for what he said he hoped would be “a very fruitful visit.” Deployed by UN chief Ban Ki-moon after this week’s bloody crackdown against pro-democracy protesters, Gambari landed in the main city of Yangon and then flew to Naypyidaw, the new administrative capital, UN officials said.

He said earlier he was going “to deliver a message from the secretary general to the leadership… and I look forward to a very fruitful visit so that I can report progress on all fronts.”

The generals who run the country formerly called Burma drew international outrage this week when their troops cracked down on pro-democracy protesters and Buddhist monks, killing at least 13 people and arresting hundreds.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Myanmar, used unusually sharp language this week, expressing its “revulsion” at the crackdown on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Gambari, asked if he expected to meet detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, said: “I expect to meet all the people that I need to meet.”

The U