U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Burma's top leader has agreed to allow all foreign aid workers into the country to help with relief efforts. Mr. Ban says General Than Shwe told him of the decision (Friday) during a meeting in the country's remote capital, Naypyidaw.
The secretary-general says he believes Burma will follow through on the pledge because the statement was made in front of many senior generals. So far, Burma's military government has refused to allow most foreign aid workers to stage a full-scale relief effort in the country.
The United States, Britain, and France have all positioned ships off the Burmese coast and offered to rush in relief supplies to the hardest-hit areas, but Burma's government has so far denied them entry. Mr. Ban said Than Shwe told him international aid could be delivered by civilian ships and small boats. It was not immediately clear if this would affect the potential docking of the French, British and U.S. ships.