UN envoy still hopes to visit Myanmar, despite weeks of waiting in the region

UN special envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, said on Monday that she still hopes to visit the country after waiting seven weeks in the region for the junta to launch a coup in February to let her in.

During a meeting in Indonesia at the end of April with the head of the junta in Myanmar, General Min Aung Hlaing “did not say that he no longer wanted to speak to me,” the Swiss diplomat said at a virtual press conference in Bangkok, where she had been saying the spends most of her time.

The general said “it is not the right time to come to Myanmar,” she said. “That was ‘not yet’ but not ‘no’ … So I will not give up to continue this discussion.”

Burgener said she would travel to Japan on Tuesday to meet with officials there.

When asked about her relations with China, Myanmar’s main financier, but which she has not visited since her appointment, the envoy said she was available.

“It is a very unstable situation for everyone in the region and it is clear that I am ready to talk to the Chinese government wherever they want, because I think a dialogue with all Member States is needed,” she said.

When asked about a draft UN resolution proposed by Liechtenstein and backed by the United States and the European Union, which implies “an immediate suspension” of all arms shipments to Myanmar, the envoy expressed caution.

“I think a resolution has to be very strong to be effective. But what’s also very important is to show unity in the General Assembly,” she said.

A vote was scheduled for May 18, but was suddenly postponed indefinitely at the behest of Paris, backed by Washington and London, due to a lack of support from Asian countries in the region, diplomats told AFP.

A meeting is scheduled for this week between the drafters of the text and the Asian countries, but the latter want the section on an arms embargo to be deleted and language related to human rights reduced, a diplomat said. on condition of anonymity.


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