United Nations: UN leader Ban Ki-moon said late Monday he will visit Myanmar to support democratic reforms and called for a "harmonious" deal allowing opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to take an oath as a deputy.
Ban said he will leave for Myanmar at the end of the week and meet with Suu Kyi, for the first time, and President Thein Sein. He is expected to arrive in Yangon on Sunday.
Ban told reporters Myanmar's transition has reached "a critical moment."
"Now is the time for the international community to stand together at Myanmar's side," he added, hailing "landmark" by-elections that saw Suu Kyi win a parliamentary seat.
"But this fresh start is fragile."
The UN secretary-general welcomed moves by the European Union and United States to suspend sanctions and said he would discuss ways the United Nations could help the country. "They deserve our full support," he said.
Asked about a dispute between Suu Kyi and the president over taking the oath of office, Ban said: "I sincerely hope they are able to find a mutually harmonious way to have smooth proceedings of the parliament."
Suu Kyi's party has refused to swear to "safeguard" an army-created constitution in the first sign of tension with the government since the democracy icon's electoral victory.
First Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 09:27