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Statement: U.N. special envoy not to brief ASEAN, EAS leaders on Myanmar
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13:24, November 20, 2007

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United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari will not brief the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) or the East Asia Summit (EAS) leaders about the Myanmar issue, said a ASEAN Chairman's statement made on Monday but issued through the Singapore media Tuesday.

The ASEAN leaders had "a full and open discussion" on the Myanmar issue at their informal working dinner on Monday night, during which Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein made clear that the situation in Myanmar was a domestic affair and that Myanmar was fully capable of handling the situation by itself.

Thein Sein explained that Gambari had visited Myanmar four times, and Myanmar had implemented many of his proposals, the statement said. Thein Sein emphasized that Gambari should only report to the U.N. Security Council and not to ASEAN or EAS. Myanmar had every confidence in managing Gambari's mission and the good offices of the United Nations, he added.

The ASEAN leaders agreed that ASEAN would respect Myanmar's wishes and make way for Myanmar to deal directly with the United Nations and the international community on its own. ASEAN stands ready to play a role whenever Myanmar wants it to do so.

The statement said most leaders expressed the view that Myanmar could not go back or stay put. The process of national reconciliation had to move forward, and the United Nations played a vital role in this process.

As had been stated in the statement issued by the ASEAN Chair in New York in September, the leaders reiterated that the Myanmar government should continue to work with the United Nations in order to solve the Myanmar issue properly.

They told the Myanmar government to take measures, including opening up a meaningful dialogue with political party leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy, working toward a peaceful transition to democracy, and addressing the economic difficulties faced by the people of Myanmar.

Source: Xinhua

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