Poland's Walesa, Jaruzelski urge Myanmar talks

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WARSAW, Sep 27 (Reuters) Polish democracy leader Lech Walesa and former arch-foe Wojciech Jaruzelski, who negotiated the peaceful end of communism in 1989, made a unique joint appeal to Myanmar's junta today to talk to protesters.

''In Myanmar, as in Poland, only a bloodless transition to democracy is in the interest of all,'' they said in a statement published in Polish newspapers. It was the first such joint appeal from the former enemies who never became friends.

''Those who were in power in Poland in 1989 ... believe it was a good decision that they had enough courage to surrender power in a democratic way,'' they said in a statement also signed by other leaders from the era.

Protesters returned to the streets of Myanmar's main city of Yangon on Thursday despite several reported deaths a day earlier as the junta tried to end the biggest demonstrations against military rule in nearly 20 years.

Walesa, 64, led the Solidarity union that was key to overthrowing communism in Poland and beyond. He was later elected president, but lost a re-election bid in 1995.

General Jaruzelski, 84, declared martial law in the early 1980s to suppress Solidarity protests and had Walesa arrested before later opting for talks. These days, he rarely comments in public.


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