British PM calls for democracy in Myanmar

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New Delhi, Jan 20 (UNI) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown today said India has an important role to play for peace in Myanmar and called upon Yangon to initiate regular discussions with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for reconciliation and democracy in the troubled Southeast Asian nation.

''It is very important that we realise that international action is necessary to persuade the Myanmar Government that they have to take seriously all the problems that exit in their country,'' he told reporters here.

Mr Brown who arrived here today on a two-day visit, said he wanted to see regular discussions between Aung San Suu Kyi and the Myanmar administration for reconciliation and a move towards democracy in that ''troubled country.'' ''I want to see an end to all the violence and release of political prisoners in Myanmar. We will be looking at how we can persuade the Myanmar regime that it is important that Mr Gambari, the UN envoy, returns to Myanmar as soon as possible,'' he said.

Mr Brown said he would also like to see UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon empowered to visit Myanmar at a later date and an agreement that the Myanmar Government would move towards not only reconciliation but also democracy.

The British Premier who will be having formal discusions with Prime Minster Manmohan Singh tomorrow, said he would raise the issue, as earlier in telephone calls, with Prime Minister Singh.

''I believe that, India as well as China have an important role to play in making sure that the end to violence happens in Myanmar and that there is reconciliation between the different parties,'' Mr Brown, who arrived here from China, said.


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