Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that the United States would back more aid for Myanmar, marking the first reward the U.S. has offered the reclusive country for its reforms.
Noting “candid, productive” conversations with President Thein Sein and other officials, Clinton also announced that the U.S. would consider returning an American ambassador there, Reuters reports.
But the secretary of state also pressed the country, which had operated for decades under military rule, to continue making reforms, like releasing political prisoners and ending ethnic conflicts, Reuters said. She also warned that U.S.-Myanmar relations couldn’t improve unless the Southeast Asian country stopped its illegal dealings with North Korea.
“The president told me he hopes to build on these steps, and I assured him that these reforms have our support,” Clinton said in Naypyidaw. “I also made clear that, while the measures already taken may be unprecedented and welcomed, they are just the beginning.”
The possibility of reinstating a U.S. envoy in Myanmar could be “an important channel to air concerns, monitor and support progress, and build trust,” the secretary of state said, according to Reuters.
In the evening, Clinton will meet with Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who had been held under house arrest for years. Suu Kyi confirmed Wednesday that she would run for parliament in upcoming elections.
The meeting will take place at the U.S. Chief of Mission’s residence in Yangon, and according to a State Department official, Clinton has previously spoken with Suu Kyi on the phone but the two have never met, CNN reports.
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