Group of Friends on Myanmar to meet at UN headquarters

11:01, March 19, 2010      

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UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has requested a meeting of the Group of Friends of Myanmar at the United Nations headquarters in New York on March 25, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Thursday.

An emergency meeting had been requested by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was quoted in a government press release on Tuesday saying he sent a letter to Ban requesting a meeting to discuss Myanmar's new electoral laws for the first nationwide election to be held in 20 years.

However, the secretary-general told reporters on Tuesday that he had not received the letter.

Brown was also quoted as saying that he intends "to seek international support to impose an arms embargo" against the South Asian country.

"Burma has ignored the demands of the UN Security Council, the UN secretary-general, the U.S., EU (European Union) and its neighbors by imposing restrictive and unfair terms for the elections," Brown's statement said, using Myanmar's former name." The targeting of Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD is particularly vindictive and callous. We will also seek international support to impose an arms embargo against Burma."

The United Nations is a member of the "Group of Friends on Myanmar," which includes the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

The ruling Myanmar State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), which has not yet set a date for nationwide elections, enacted five electoral laws, the state Myanmar Radio and Television (MRTV) reported last week.

However, the UN secretary-general told reporters after the announcement that the new electoral laws "do not measure up to our expectations of what is needed for an inclusive political process. "

Source: Xinhua
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