UN chief to Myanmar: Free political prisoners

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging Myanmar's military government to follow up its recent prisoner release by freeing all political detainees and quickly resuming talks with the opposition without preconditions. Ban said he is willing to return to Myanmar for talks with the government, including on political issues, but he said he must first discuss the timing and agenda with the government. He said there should not be any preconditions to his visit, but he made clear that the international community wants to see significant steps by Myanmar's military junta toward national reconciliation and "full democratization." The secretary-general told reporters on Monday that a recent government amnesty for more than 6,300 prisoners reportedly included at least 23 political prisoners. But there are some 2,200 political prisoners and he called for all of them to be freed including detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.