Little joy for UN envoy in Myanmar

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YANGON, Nov 6 (Reuters) UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari met senior junta officials in Myanmar today during a mission to spark reform that has failed so far to gain him an audience with the country's top leader, Senior General Than Shwe.

Four days into a visit aimed at securing talks between detained opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi and the generals, Gambari was due to brief diplomats summoned to the country's new jungle capital, Naypyidaw, tomorrow.

''We have been invited to a meeting with Mr. Gambari at 10 am. We have no more information,'' a Yangon-based diplomat told Reuters.

Diplomats had expected Gambari to return to Yangon on Wednesday to see Suu Kyi, who met the Nigerian diplomat twice during his last visit after soldiers crushed pro-democracy protests in September, triggering international outrage.

Rumours that Suu Kyi had fallen ill swirled around Yangon on Tuesday, but a spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD) said the 62-year-old Nobel laureate was fine.

''She is okay,'' party spokesman Nyan Win said.

A source at Asia Tawwin Hospital said Suu Kyi, who has spent 12 of the last 18 years in detention, had a minor operation to remove an ingrown finger nail and was returned to her lakeside home, where she is under house arrest.

Among those who met Gambari today were General Aung Kyi, named the junta's go-between with Suu Kyi last month when he met her for 75 minutes.

It was Gambari's second meeting with Aung Kyi, but there was no word from the United Nations on the outcome of that or other talks.

A UN statement said human rights envoy Sergio Paulo Pinheiro would visit Myanmar from November 11 to 15, the first time he has received a visa in four years.


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