10/25/2007, 00.00
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Aung San Suu Kyi meets junta official

The pro-democracy leader went under escort to a government building to meet junta’s liaison minister. At the end of the visit by UN special envoy for Myanmar Beijing reiterates its policy of non interference in the former Burma. New Delhi and Moscow are opposed to economic sanctions.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) – “The Lady,” as she is affectionately called by most Burmese, left her home today to meet a junta official, anonymous diplomatic sources said. Aung San Suu Kyi should meet the newly-appointed labour minister Aung Kyi, who on October 8 also became liaison minister for talks with the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and opposition leader, others sources said.

The unconfirmed information comes at the end of United Nations envoy for Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari’s visit to Beijing. Mr Gambari has been trying to convince regional powers, above all India and China, to take a tougher stance against Myanmar’s military dictatorship because of its unprecedented violence against pro-democracy demonstrations led by Buddhist monks.

China, whilst supporting the mission of the UN special envoy, continues to advocate dialogue between the government and the opposition and remains firmly opposed to the use of economic sanctions as a tool to put pressure on the generals.

Gambari is not surprised by Chinese leaders’ obstructionism. He even praised China's role for helping get him into Myanmar last month, and brokering meetings between him and the junta's leader, Senior General Than Shwe.

Beijing like New Delhi remains cautious towards sanctions because of their substantial economic and strategic interests in Myanmar.

“The Myanmar issue, after all, has to be appropriately resolved by its own people and government through their own efforts of dialogue and consultation,” Chinese State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan told Gambari.

Russia has adopted the same hands-off policy. Yesterday in China where he met his Chinese and Indian counterparts, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that sanctions, threats or other forms of pressure on the junta risked “aggravating the situation and generating a new crisis.”

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