Clinton meets with pro-democracy leader in Myanmar
Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi says road to democracy says U.S. must take 'calibrated' steps
Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton met with Myanmar pro-democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who said she hoped it would set her
long-isolated country on the road to democracy. Clinton's landmark
visit, the first visit by a U.S. senior official in 50 years, was in a
show of good faith with Myanmar's new civilian government pledge to
forge ahead with political reforms and to re-engage with the world
Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton met with Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who said she hoped it would set her long-isolated country on the road to democracy.
Clinton and Suu Kyi held two meetings in as many days. "You have been an inspiration but I know that you feel you are standing for all the people of your country who deserve the same rights and freedoms as people everywhere," Clinton told Suu Kyi.
"The people have been courageous and strong in the face of great difficulty over too many years. We want to see this country take its rightful place in the world," she added.
Suu Kyi says she has tentatively welcomed reforms enacted by Myanmar's new civilian government.
She thanked the secretary and President Barack Obama for their "careful and calibrated" engagement that has seen the U.S. take some steps to improve relations.
"We are happy with the way in which the United States is engaging with us," she said. "It is through engagement that we hope to promote the process of democratization. Because of this engagement, I think our way ahead will be clearer and we will be able to trust that the process of democratization will go forward."
U.S. has imposed sanctions on Myanmar due to rights abuses and the suppression of democracy. Clinton, holding talks with the leaders of a new civilian government in the capital of Naypyitaw, held out the prospect of the end of sanctions provided there was real progress on reform.
Suu Kyi said she welcomed more support for Myanmar including World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) assessment missions, which she said would help draw up priorities.
"We have to find out what our greatest needs are," she said.
U.S. President Barack Obama decided last month to open the door to Myanmar to expand ties, saying he saw "flickers of progress" in a country which was previously a reclusive military dictatorship firmly aligned with China.
Myanmar's new leadership hopes the United States will eventually ease or remove the sanctions, a step which could open the resource-rich, but desperately poor country to more foreign trade and investment and help it catch up to booming neighbors such as Thailand and India.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Myanmar, Hilary Clinton, Aung San Suu Kyi
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