Vietnam urges Myanmar junta to work with UN

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HANOI, Nov 8 (Reuters) Vietnam urged Myanmar's ruling junta today to work with the United Nations special envoy to resolve the crisis in the beleaguered Southeast Asian country.

Speaking on the eve of a visit by Myanmar's newly appointed prime minister, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung told a news briefing: ''We hope that Myanmar will cooperate with the United Nations, especially with the special envoy of the UN Secretary-General, to find a suitable and satisfactory solution to the situation in line with interests of national reconciliation.'' Myanmar Prime Minister General Thein Sein, named to the post just last month, arrived in Laos today and is to visit Vietnam Novembr and on Saturday. The three nations belong to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), whose leaders hold a summit in Singapore on Nov.

20-21.

Last month, communist-ruled Vietnam was elected to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2008-09 and will be required to vote for the first time on tough diplomatic issues with allies such as Myanmar and North Korea.

Trade between Myanmar and Vietnam is currently about 17 million dollars annually, the spokesman said, but ''trade relations are continuing to rise encouragingly at a pace of 15 percent to 20 percent a year''.

UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari met detained Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon, the main city in the former Burma, today.

Gambari wound up his visit to Myanmar today, his second since September's crackdown on the biggest democracy protests in 20 years.

He failed to receive an audience with junta leader Senior General Than Shwe on this visit.

REUTERS MS RN1652

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