Council Upbraids Myanmar Junta

China doesn't block UN panel's stance
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2007 4:50 PM CDT
Buddhist monks gather to chant prayers for the dead during ceremonies Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007, at a temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand to remember those killed recently in central Myanmar. (AP Photo/Wichaifar...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The UN Security Council unanimously condemned the Myanmar junta's violent suppression of pro-democracy protests in an official policy statement today, demanding the prompt release of all political prisoners and serious negotiations with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The council's first official action on Myanmar highlights a shift by China, who previously defended its trading partner before the council.

"The Security Council strongly deplores the use of violence against peaceful demonstrations in Myanmar," the statement said. UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari will return to Burma soon to check progress, Reuters reports. Council members emphasized that they would return to the issue if no action is taken: "We will not relent. We will persist," said US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.