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India not for coercion in Myanmar
October 22, 2007 22:01 IST
Amid growing world pressure on India over Myanmar issue, United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari on Monday met Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon who emphasized that New Delhi favoured democracy in the neighbouring country, but opposed coercion.
Menon told Gambari that India had to keep in mind its interests in Myanmar while seeking reconciliation and democracy in the military-ruled country. The Indian side is opposed to imposition of sanctions against Myanmar, arguing that it will serve no purpose. It however, underlines that all political leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, be released.
Menon and Gambari discussed ways in which Myanmar can see what the people of that country want, sources said.
Gambari, who arrived here on Sunday night, is also expected to meet External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. His visit here came amid growing international pressure on India to act to help usher in democracy in Myanmar.
Two days ago, US President George W Bush [Images] urged India and China to put pressure on Myanmar's military rulers in an effort to end repression of democracy supporters there.
"I ask other counties to review their own laws and policies, especially Burma's closest neighbours, China, India, and others in the region," Bush had said.
Gambari, who is on a mission to coordinate efforts among key governments in Asia to help resolve the crisis in Myanmar, has already held discussions with officials of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Gambari is scheduled to go to Myanmar next month for another round of discussions with the military leadership and the opposition seeking a democratic set-up. He met the junta's leaders in Myanmar in September after troops opened fire on peaceful protests in Yangon.