Archive for Saturday, November 3, 2007

Junta seeks departure of top U.N. representative

November 3, 2007

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— Myanmar's military government ordered the expulsion of the top U.N. diplomat in the country on Friday in response to the envoy's criticism of the regime.

The move came a day before U.N. special envoy Ibrahim Gambari was to return to Myanmar to continue promoting reconciliation between the junta and the country's pro-democracy movement, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

The U.N. said Gambari will tell the ruling junta that the U.N. leadership in Myanmar has the support of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The United States condemned the expulsion of U.N. Resident Coordinator Charles Petrie.

The junta gave a note to foreign diplomats and U.N. representatives that accused Petrie of going beyond his duties and "expressed the government's intention not to continue his assignment here," United Nations Information Center spokesman Aye Win said from Yangon, Myanmar's largest city.

Petrie, like other U.N. officials and diplomats, serves in Myanmar only with the consent of its government and was not expected to stay without an invitation.

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