Secretary Clinton: US Soon to Name Potential Ambassador to Burma
(WASHINGTON) -- Calling Burma’s parliamentary elections this weekend a “dramatic demonstration of popular will” and an important step for the country’s transformation to democracy, Secretary Hillary Clinton announced Wednesday that the U.S. is moving to normalize relations with the former rogue nation.
Clinton said that the U.S. will be seeking to name a fully accredited ambassador to Burma in “the coming days” for the Senate to confirm. She also said that the State Department will be establishing a fully operational USAID office, and lifting sanctions for private non-profit organizations to operate in the country as well as some businesses to help accelerate Burma’s economic growth. The State Department also plans to facilitate travel to Burma for select U.S. officials and individuals, Sec. Clinton said.
Clinton said the United States will "meet action with action," stressing that some sanctions will remain for those in the regime who are on “the wrong side” of the country’s progress, and calling for an unconditional release of political prisoners and a lift on any conditions restricting those already released.
But overall, Clinton had glowing praise for Burma President Thein Sein, once considered the right-hand man of the country’s former dictator, and noted the election of Aung San Suu Kyi, the democracy activist who spent decades under house arrest. She said Burma’s leadership is showing its willingness to work toward a more hopeful future.
“We fully recognize and embrace the progress that has taken place,” the secretary said.
Clinton traveled to Burma late last year, making her the most senior American official to visit the country in 50 years, according to The Telegraph.
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