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UN Special Envoy to Burma Resigns

The United Nations special envoy to Burma has resigned after failing to gain permission to visit to the country for nearly two years.

Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail told the French news agency his official contract ended in December and it is clear Burma's military regime does not want him back.

He said the United Nations had accepted his decision to quit as the secretary-general's special envoy to Burma.

Mr. Razali has long pressed Burmese leaders to speed democratic reforms and he publicly called for the release of jailed democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

Burmese opposition leaders praised his decision to resign, saying he had worked hard to improve the situation in Burma. Mr. Razali had served in the post since April 2000.