Tuesday, January 17, 2012

U.S. Sen. Webb calls for Burma’s economic development


Tuesday, 17 January 2012 12:57 Mizzima News

(Mizzima) – U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, the first American official ever to meet with now-former junta leader, General Than Shwe, said during Burma’s transitional period, the U.S. “should take advantage of all of the tools at our disposal to facilitate Burmese economic development, political reconciliation, and ultimately greater progress toward democratic governance.”

In 2009, Webb, on a personal visit, was among the first U.S. officials to call for a U.S. effort to engage the reclusive country, citing the danger of its long isolation from the West and the need for national reconciliation.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cited Webb’s efforts as important steps in the re-engagement with Burma, which is now experiencing a steady flow of statesmen and businessmen eager to establish relations with the newly elected government.

“The release of hundreds of political prisoners in Burma and the promised exchange of ambassadors with the United States are historic steps in a transitional period which has yielded greater opportunities for interaction with government leaders and civil society, and restructuring of government and military institutions,” Webb said.          

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