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Myanmar allows UN rights expert's visit

October 23, 2007 09:51 IST

Myanmar's military junta has agreed to the visit of an independent human rights expert from United Nations to look into the recent pro-democracy protests and action taken by the government against the demonstrators.

The expert is expected to visit the country sometime in November, the United Nations announced on Monday.

Myanmar's Foreign Minister Nyan Win, in a letter sent to Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Friday, confirmed his nation had agreed to the visit by Paolo Sergio Pinheiro, the S-G's Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar.

UN spokesperson Michele Montas said Nyan Win suggested that Pinheiro's visit take place before the summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is scheduled to open on November 17.

The announcement comes as Ibrahim Gambari, UN's Special Envoy for Myanmar, continued his consultations with the troubled country's neighbours and regional partners ahead of a planned return trip to Myanmar next month.

Gambari had suggested that incentives and strong encouragement might help spur Myanmar along the path of democratisation and reconciliation.

The wider diplomatic efforts by the UN follow what Ban has described as the "abhorrent and unacceptable" response of the government to recent peaceful demonstrations.

"The Myanmar authorities should think about the future of their country and their people," Ban had stated last week
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