Save Burma

ျပည္သူေတြဆီမွာ လြတ္လပ္မႈနဲ႔ တန္းတူညီမွ်မႈ အရင္ဆံုး ရွိေနမွ ဒီမိုိကေရစီ စံႏႈန္းရွိတာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

US to engage Myanmar

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Sep 24, 2009

US to engage Myanmar

For months, Mrs Clinton had lamented that the sanctions were having little impact. — PHOTO: AFP

UNITED NATIONS – SECRETARY of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Wednesday that the Obama administration has decided to engage directly with Myanmar’s junta as part of international efforts to promote democracy in the military-run state.

Mrs Clinton made the announcement at the United Nations after meeting with her counterparts from a number of countries trying to convince the authoritarian regime to reform, allow dissent and release political prisoners, including Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

She said that US sanctions against members of Myanmar’s leadership would remain in place but that those measures would now be accompanied by outreach. For months, Mrs Clinton had lamented that the sanctions were having little impact.

‘We believe that sanctions remain important as part of our policy, but by themselves they have not produced the results that had been hoped for on behalf of the people of Burma,’ Mrs Clinton told reporters, using the country’s traditional name.

‘Engagement versus sanctions is a false choice in our opinion,’ she said. ‘So, going forward we will be employing both of those tools, pursuing our same goals. To help achieve democratic reform, we will be engaging directly with Burmese authorities.’

The decision to engage Myanmar stemmed from a review of US policy toward the country initiated after President Barack Obama took office. The Bush administration had shunned Myanmar in protest of multiple crackdowns on the opposition.

US officials said Congress would be briefed on specifics of the engagement policy on Thursday.

The move is the latest in a series of reversals in Bush administration foreign policy by Mr Obama’s national security team. The new administration is also reaching out to Iran and has scrapped major elements of Mr Bush’s plan to construct a missile shield in eastern Europe. — AP

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm

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