Friday, 15 November 2019

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US Assistant Secretary of State to visit Burma

New Delhi (Mizzima) - United States Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell will visit military-ruled Burma soon and meet government and opposition groups to discuss the new US policy on the Southeast Asian nation, an opposition leader said.

Khin Maung Swe, a central executive committee member of the National League for Democracy, told Mizzima on Wednesday that the NLD-CEC had been informed by Larry M. Dinger, the Charge d’Affairs of the US Embassy in Rangoon on Tuesday that Campbell, who is spearheading the US policy on Burma, will soon pay a visit.

“We were told by the US Charge d’Affairs that Kurt Campbell will soon be visiting Burma. But no dates were mentioned, “Khin Maung Swe said.

Larry M. Dinger and two other officials from the embassy met Khin Maung Swe along with other NLD-CEC members and Nyan Win, the party spokesperson on Tuesday at the party headquarters in Rangoon’s West Shwegondine Street.

“They had come for information on the current political situation in Burma in preparation for Campbell’s visit,” Khin Maung Swe said.

“They also asked us about  our stand on sanctions and on the 2010 elections,” he said, adding that the NLD welcomes the visit and expects the US’s increased diplomatic engagement would facilitate a political dialogue between the government and the opposition.

The NLD, however, said it is firm in its stand on the junta’s 2010 elections, as announced in the ‘Shwegondine declaration’ in April. The NLD had made it clear that it is willing to participate in the elections if the 2008 constitution is revised, all political prisoners freed and freedom of political campaign permitted.

On sanctions, the NLD said they agree with party leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s view and believe that negotiations are necessary to lift sanctions. 

According to Nyan Win, the NLD spokesperson, who met detained Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on October 16, she is currently into fact-finding on the impact and consequences of sanctions and the objectives of the countries that imposed it.

The fact-finding is part of her proposal to junta’s military supremo Snr Gen Than Shwe offering her cooperation in working together to help ease sanctions. Than Shwe responded to her proposal by granting her request to meet representatives of the US, United Kingdom and Australia.

“We have been calling for dialogue, so, we welcome these talks, but we would also like to see these engagements result in some kind of a solution,” Khin Maung Swe said.

Reporting by Salai Han Thar San


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