UN Chief in Burma for Talks

Posted April 29th, 2012 at 10:10 am (UTC-5)
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U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is in Burma for talks aimed at encouraging the government to continue carrying out democratic reforms.

Mr. Ban arrived in Rangoon, Burma's main city, Sunday and was due to travel to the administrative capital, Naypyidaw, later in the day.

He is expected to meet with President Thein Sein on Monday for talks and give an address to Burma's parliament — the first such address by a visiting foreign dignitary.

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton is also in Burma, following the recent suspension of European Union sanctions against the long-isolated country.

Mr. Ban and Ashton are both scheduled to meet with President Thein Sein Monday. It is not clear if they will meet with him together or separately.

On Tuesday, the U.N. Secretary General meets with Aung San Suu Kyi, who leads Burma's opposition National League for Democracy.

Ashton, who already has met with the opposition leader, opened a new EU office in Rangoon Saturday to oversee the management of aid programs and to handle political matters.