Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kissinger, Thein Sein met in New York City

Wednesday, 03 October 2012 12:22 Mizzima News

Burma’s President Thein Sein met with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on September 26 in New York City, a state-run newspaper said on Wednesday.

Burma’s President Thein Sein with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at The Mark hotel in New York on September 26, 2012, in New York City. Photo: President's office

Kissinger, who played a leading role in opening up China to the West during the administration of Richard Nixon in the 1970s, was accompanied by US Ambassador to Burma Derek Mitchell.

The former diplomat told Thein Sein that he was very interested in Burma, and he had great respect for Burma’s history. He was glad to see US-Burma bilateral relations becoming healthy again and happy to see the two countries now engage in useful dialogues.

Kissinger said he believed Burma would play a pivotal role in the future of Southeast Asian countries, and his great interest in Burma stemmed from the fact that she was going forward on her own initiative, according to a report in The New Light of Myanmar, a state-run newspaper.

Kissinger told Thein Sein it was very important for Burma to make a bold move in the peace process to end the ethnic strife that has divided the nation for decades.

Thein Sein said in his reply that Kissinger was greatly respected because of his experience and knowledge of Asian affairs, and he said his accomplishments are milestones in Asian and world affairs. Burma would continue to go forward in making democratic reforms and improving the lot of Burmese citizens.

Thein Sein also held private talks with former US president Bill Clinton.

Kissiner told state-run China Daily in January that the emerging competition between the US and China should not be allowed to push other nations, specially those in Asia, to take sides.

The key to good relations, Kissinger said, is for both countries to protect each other's key interests and neither should think their own views must always prevail.

"It's important that both sides understand what needs to be done to keep the process alive and dynamic," said the 89-year-old diplomat, whose diplomacy during the 1970s revived US-China ties, setting it on a course of economic transformation.

Kissinger commands great respect in China because it was his diplomacy that led to an epoch making summit meeting between the then US President, Richard Nixon, and Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong in 1972.

The summit broke the ice between the two countries, and gave new life to the Chinese economy with US investments and know-how helping to propel China's economic rise.

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