Responding to the negative assessment of the current drive to initiate substantive dialogue between Burma's ruling military and opposition leaders, the United States has again called on the regime to adhere to its international obligations.
The reaction from the office of the President follows a statement attributed to opposition and National League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi following a rare meeting yesterday with other leaders from her party.
"Let us hope for the best and prepare for the worst," Suu Kyi is reported to have told her followers. She went on to say that she is "dissatisfied" with the current, and sporadic, process of dialogue between herself and the government's self-appointed Liaison Officer.
"We're disappointed to hear…that there has been no progress on a meaningful time-bound dialogue," White House spokesperson Tony Fratto told reporters yesterday while en route to California.
"The regime has refused to offer any time frame for commencement of a dialogue," he continued. "We once again call on the regime, as called for in the October 11th U.N. Security Council Presidential Statement, to begin a time-bound dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi and all relevant parties, including ethnic minorities, immediately."
The dialogue process is the cornerstone of the United Nations initiative on Burma.
However the international body's Special Envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, is now being told by Burma's ruling generals that he will not be welcomed back to the country till at least April. Gambari had requested his next visit be months earlier.