Myanmar's Suu Kyi says ready to cooperate with govt

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YANGON/SINGAPORE, Nov 8 (Reuters) Detained Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said today she was ready to work with the former Burma's military junta to ensure proposed negotiations on political reform were a success.

The statement by Suu Kyi, issued on her behalf by United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari, followed a September crackdown on pro-democracy protests in which at least 10 people were killed.

''In the interest of the nation, I stand ready to cooperate with the government in order to make this process of dialogue a success,'' said the statement by Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 12 of the last 18 years.

At the end of a six-day trip to Myanmar, Gambari said in Singapore that he managed to establish a path towards ''substantive dialogue'' between the generals and Suu Kyi.

Gambari was heading to New York, where he is to brief members of the Security Council next week on his second visit to the isolated Southeast Asian country since the crackdown.

Suu Kyi said that her first meeting with General Aung Kyi - appointed as the junta's go-between with Suu Kyi - on Oct 25 had been constructive and that she looks forward to further regular discussions.

''I expect that this phase of preliminary consultation will conclude soon, so that a meaningful and time-bound dialogue with the SPDC leadership can start as early as possible,'' Suu Kyi said in her statement.

Earlier today, Gambari said in a separate statement that a path to ''substantive dialogue'' between Myanmar's junta and Suu Kyi had been opened.

''The sooner such a dialogue can start, the better for Myanmar,'' Gambari said after his visit to Myanmar, a country ruled by the military for an unbroken period of 45 years, after an hour-long meeting with Suu Kyi.

The statement gave no clues on what progress Gambari had made in his mission to persuade the junta, which crushed pro-democracy protests in September, to do a deal with Suu Kyi.

But state television announced that General Aung Kyi would meet her tomorrow for the second time.

She would also be allowed to meet leaders of her National League for Democracy the same day, it said, for the first time since she was last detained more than four years ago.

The government would also ''make efforts steadfastly for national reconciliation with the correct cooperation of the UN Secretary General'', it said.

The UN statement said Gambari would return to Myanmar in the next few weeks and continue talks ''to achieve the goals which we all share; prosperity, democracy and full respect for human rights''.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won 1990 elections by a landslide, but was denied power by the military, which has ruled in one form or another since a 1962 coup.

During that time, the economy - one of Asia's brightest prospects on independence from Britain in 1948 - has collapsed under the weight of disastrous experiments with home-grown socialism, corruption and, latterly, some Western sanctions.

Reuters NY DB2342

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