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Last Updated: Monday, 15 October 2007, 00:59 GMT 01:59 UK
Brown seeking pressure on Burma
Burma protesters
The United Nations has criticised the response to protests in Burma
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged the world's biggest economies to provide support to Burma if its ruling junta agrees moves towards democracy.

He warned of further measures against the military regime if it did not end the violence against its own people.

Mr Brown said "we cannot forget" TV images of protests, or the "death and human rights abuses" still occurring.

Last month, monks led protests against the military regime. Rangoon says 10 people were killed and 2,100 arrested.

However, foreign diplomats and analysts fear both figures could be far higher.

Mr Brown said the UK would press for tough sanctions against individuals and valuable commodities when European Union foreign ministers meet later.

Burma must take clear steps towards the return of democracy
Gordon Brown

Britain will review its embargo on arms to Burma in order to remove any risk that weapons could fall into the hands of the military regime.

Despite international condemnation of the military dictatorship the pro-democracy demonstrations were put down by troops and police.

Last week a UN Security Council statement criticised the regime's response to the protests.

In a statement the prime minister said the UK "will not turn away" from the situation in the south-east Asian country.

'Further measures'

He said: "We cannot forget the images on our television screens of monks and ordinary citizens in Burma protesting; nor the death and human rights abuses we know are still taking place.

"Last week's UN Security Council statement - the first ever formal statement on Burma - sent a powerful signal of the determination of the international community to support the Burmese people in their transition to democracy."

Calling for an end to the violence and the release of political detainees, Mr Brown urged the Burmese junta to use the return of UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari to embark on reconciliation with pro-democracy groups.

"Burma must take clear steps towards the return of democracy," he said, adding that the UN Security Council should meet again to review progress and, if it is insufficient, consider "further measures".

'Reconciliation and democracy

At the EU meeting being held later, in addition to urging sanctions against commodities like timber, gems and metals, Britain will call for a ban on future investment tied to progress on reconciliation.

In order to heighten pressure on the military regime, Mr Brown is holding out the offer of economic support if the country takes steps towards democracy.

He has written to his counterparts in the G7 group of industrialised nations, as well as Portugal, India and China, and the heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in a bid to construct an economic package.

The plan would bring together the UN, EU, China, India, the Association of South East Asian Nations, the World Bank and the IMF to provide support for recovery "conditional on progress with reconciliation and democracy".


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