Secretary of State Clinton To Visit Myanmar
Myanmar has been under the control of a military junta since 1989 but a transition to a more civilian-based government has entered a preliminary stage. The military junta changed the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar, but the United States still refers to the country by its previous name.
“For decades, Americans have been deeply concerned about the denial of basic human rights for the Burmese people. The persecution of democratic reformers, the brutality shown towards ethnic minorities, and the concentration of power in the hands of a few military leaders has challenged our conscience, and isolated Burma from the United States and much of the world,” the president said.
The purpose of the secretary of state’s visit is to determine what assistance the US can offer Myanmar for the country’s transition and the possible cultivation of a diplomatic relationship between the two countries.
The news of Clinton’s visit comes on the heels of an announcement by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s decision to seek one of the 48 parliamentary spots opening up in the country’s legislature.
Obama spoke with Aung San Suu Kyi Thursday night. He is expected to see Burmese president Thein Sein at the ASEAN meeting on Friday, though the two are not expected to engage in a one-on-one conversation according to the New York Times.
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