Singapore disappointed by expulsion of top UN official

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Singapore, Nov 3: Singapore today expressed its disappointment towards Myanmar's decision to expel UNDP Resident Coordinator Charles James Petrie, a Foreign Ministry statement said today.

The announcement has come at a most inopportune time, just before the arrival of United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Special Advisor Ibrahim Gambari in Myanmar, said the statetement.

''It also sends an inconsistent message about Myanmar's willingness to continue engaging the UN in improving its domestic political and socio-economic situation,'' it added.

The military regime in Myanmar has said Mr Charles Petrie mandate is over and is not being renewed.

A sharp rise in fuel prices triggered protests in mid-August snowballed into mass pro-democracy demonstrations in Myanmar, led by thousands of Burmese monks.

It is, however not clear when Mr Petrie, who began his posting in Myanmar in 2003, will have to leave the country.

Singapore urged Myanmar to continue keeping up its engagement with the UNDP and UNSG Good Offices, as they offer hope for Myanmar to resolve key socio-economic problems, and to work towards peaceful national reconciliation with all groups in the country.

''Singapore, as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Myanmar is a member, has been supporting and encouraging United Nations efforts in resolving Myanmar's socio-economic problems,'' said the statement.


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