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NEWS - U.N. Dangles $1 Billion Carr

Subject: NEWS - U.N. Dangles $1 Billion Carrot to Burma

U.N., Myanmar in Secret Talks Over Dialogue with Suu Kyi


            BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- The World Bank and the United
            Nations have offered $1 billion in aid to Myanmar if the
            military regime opens a dialogue with the opposition led by
            Aung San Suu Kyi, a newspaper reported today. 

            U.N. envoy Alvaro de Soto presented the plan several weeks
            ago and it may represent the best chance yet to overcome
            the government's reluctance to hold talks with the
            the International Herald-Tribune reported, citing
            sources involved in the negotiations. 

            World Bank officials in Bangkok would not comment on the

            The initiative comes amid a deepening deadlock between
            Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy and the military. If
            it succeeds, the United States would withdraw its
            long-standing veto of any World Bank or International
            Monetary Fund assistance to Myanmar, the newspaper said.

            Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been ruled by the
            military since 1962. One of the world's poorest countries,
it is
            under economic and political sanctions by the United States
            and other countries opposed to the government's poor
            human-rights record. 

            Both sides reportedly responded well to the overture, but it
            would require significant government and opposition
            compromises. Progress would be rewarded by increasing
            amounts of financial assistance and humanitarian aid, the
            International Herald-Tribune reported. 

            The first steps would be for the government to free
            prisoners, allow Suu Kyi freedom of movement -- the 1991
            Nobel Peace Prize winner is largely confined to her house --
            and permit her party to function. 

            Those would amount to huge concessions from the
            government, which released some prisoners two months ago
            but since has taken hundreds more opposition members into
            custody to persuade them to quit the party. 

            In exchange, the National League for Democracy party
            would agree to rescind calls to convene the
            opposition-dominated parliament that was elected in 1990.
            The military has never allowed the parliament to meet. 

            Suu Kyi said earlier this week that she has no intention of
            withdrawing her call to convene parliament.