UN Chief Meets Junta Leader in Burma

Ban plans to press junta to release Suu Kyi and other political prisoners
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2009 4:35 AM CDT
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon waves upon his arrival at a hotel in Rangoon, Burma today.   (AP Photo/Khin Mang Win)
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(Newser) – Ban Ki-moon arrived in Burma today and is holding talks with the military junta to secure the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the BBC reports. The UN secretary general told the Burmese generals that he wants "to contribute, to work together, for peace and prosperity"—but that the regime must release Suu Kyi and thousands of other political prisoners, and move towards holding credible elections.

"This is going to be, I know, a very difficult mission," Ban said en route to Burma. "But at the same time I know that to bring changes to Myanmar, political conciliation and democratization, we need to do our best." Suu Kyi's trial was due to resume today but has been postponed for another week. Ban said it’s unclear whether he’ll be allowed to meet with her.