UN envoy to Myanmar still barred from visit during Asia tour

UN envoy to Myanmar still barred from visit during Asia tour

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The United Nations: The spokesperson said Thursday that the United Nations Special Envoy to Myanmar is expected to start a trip to Asia in the next few days, but due to changes in military policy, the country is still barred from visiting this Southeast Asian country.

United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that Christine Schraner Burgener will begin her visit in Thailand and will also visit China.

He said the junta in Myanmar has not yet given Burgener a “green light” to visit the country, where hundreds have died in mass protests demanding a return to democracy after the February 1 putsch.

“She, of course, stands ready to resume dialogue with the military to contribute to a return to Myanmar s democratic path, peace and stability,” Dujarric said.

He said Burgener continued to be in written contact with Myanmar s generals but added that there had been no telephone conversations for weeks.

The goal is to resume “face to face” discussions, he said.

“She is ready to visit Myanmar any time,” said Dujarric, recalling that with the support of the Security Council she wants to meet detained civilian leaders, including President Wint Myint and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Duharic said the envoy will begin her trip in Bangkok, where she will meet with the Thai authorities, United Nations officials in the area and the ambassador in Myanmar.

The spokesperson also said that visits to other member states of the ASEAN Regional Association and countries in the region are under discussion.

“As she has highlighted repeatedly, a robust international response to the ongoing crisis in Myanmar requires a unified regional effort involving neighboring countries who can leverage influence towards stability,” he said.

According to diplomats at the UN, Asean countries at times have divergent positions on Myanmar.

“At one end, there are Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, who are in the mode of  back off, there s nothing to see, it s a question of internal politics, ” one diplomat said.

“And at the other end, Singapore, Malaysia or Indonesia, who are more open to a more active role of Asean to try to find a solution to this crisis.”

An Asean summit on Myanmar is scheduled for the end of the month.

The UN Security Council is set to meet informally Friday on the initiative of Britain to hear, among others, Daw Zin Mar Aung, an elected civilian member of Myanmar s parliament, and an academic, Sai Sam Kham.

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