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Western Powers Circulate Softened UN Statement 'Deploring' Burma's Military Crackdown

10 October 2007

The United States, France and Britain have circulated a watered-down statement to the U.N. Security Council that "strongly deplores" Burma's recent military crackdown of pro-democracy protesters.

Their revised draft statement does not "condemn" Burma's repression of the protesters, but it does demand a full account of those jailed, missing or killed.

The Security Council is expected to issue a statement in the next few days.

China says it is opposed to sanctions to force Burma's military leadership towards democratic reforms. Burma's fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, say they, too, are opposed to sanctions.

Burmese officials say the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters left 10 people dead. Dissidents put the number of fatalities at 200.

In related news, Burma's main opposition party responded for the first time on Tuesday to invitations from Burmese military leaders to hold talks.

In a statement, the National League for Democracy demanded that the military government drop its preconditions for proposed talks with detained Nobel laureate and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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