The UN Security Council said Thursday it "strongly deplores" the violent crackdown on protestors by Myanmar's military rulers and called for a "genuine dialogue" between the government and the pro-democracy opposition.
A compromise statement approved by all 15 council members - including close Myanmar ally China - emphasized "the importance of the early release of all political prisoners and remaining detainees."
The council statement was read at a formal meeting shortly after the United Nations announced that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is sending the UN envoy to Myanmar back to the region next week for consultations with key governments on international efforts to promote talks between the government and the opposition.
The United States, Britain and France proposed a stronger text that would have condemned the violence and called for the immediate release of the political prisoners and detainees, singling out the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. But the text was watered down to get approval from China, which had proposed a much weaker text.