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UN must intervene if Junta plays hardball: US

The US seeks the UN Security Council intervention in case Myanmar's military rulers rebuff Gambari's plans.

world Updated: Oct 18, 2007 09:41 IST

The US has sought UN Security Council intervention in case Myanmar's military rulers rebuff plans by a UN special envoy to push for democratic rule in the Southeast Asian state.

Washington also called for global pressure on Myanmar to allow the swift return of special envoy Ibrahim Gambari to pave the way for a dialogue between the military junta and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic minorities.

"Should the regime turn its back on special advisor Gambari's proposals, we believe the matter should be referred back to the Security Council for further consideration," US deputy assistant secretary of state Scot Marciel told a congressional hearing yesterday.

He said the US was working with Gambari and Asian nations to facilitate his "rapid" return to Myanmar following the junta's appointment of a moderate general to promote dialogue between the regime and Aung San Suu Kyi.

There has been no indication of when the dialogue would take place. Gambari met Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest, and military strongman Than Shwe during a lightning visit last month to convey international outrage over the regime's violent suppression of anti-government rallies led by Buddhist monks that left at least 13 people dead.

Gambari, currently on a regional tour, said on Wednesday he had confirmed an invitation to visit Myanmar by the third week of November but US officials said he should be allowed in much earlier due to the seriousness of the crisis.