US will positively respond to Myanmar's 'dramatic political development'
Washington, Oct 11 (ANI): A senior U.S. official has described political overhauls under way in Myanmar as a "dramatic development", but assured that Washington would respond to the situation there positively to improve ties between both countries.
Speaking at a forum in Bangkok on U.S. engagement in Asia, Kurt Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said that discussions between the U.S., Europe and Asian countries over Myanmar have "stepped up very, very substantially" in recent months amid rising hopes the secretive Southeast Asian nation could be embarking on its most extensive effort at overhauls in more than a decade.
Among other steps, Myanmar has eased curbs on the Internet, relaxed restrictions on the media, and launched what Campbell described as a "very consequential" dialogue with dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released from more than seven years of house arrest last year.
The government has also promised to take other steps soon, including the possible release of hundreds of political prisoners whose incarceration has long bedeviled relations between Myanmar and the West.
"Compared to what we have experienced in the past, there are clearly changes afoot. The United States is prepared to match the steps that have been taken and we're in the process" of determining how to proceed, The Wall Streets Journal quoted Campbell, as saying.
However, he cautioned that changes in Myanmar were in the "early" stages and that U.S. officials still had "enduring concerns" over a range of issues in the country, including unconfirmed reports that Myanmar's government is engaged in a covert nuclear-proliferation program with North Korea, which Myanmar officials deny. (ANI)
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