Tuesday, March 24, 2009

US Still Working on New Burma Policy

Tuesday, March 24, 2009
WASHINGTON — A senior US official has repeated earlier comments that the Obama administration is in the process of devising a new policy to achieve a goal of democratic reconciliation in Burma.

“It is clear that we and the international community have not been very successful in Burma,” the Acting Assistant Secretary for International Organizations, James Warlick, told a group of foreign journalists here, during a briefing on the administration’s approach with regard to various issues related to the United Nations.

“I think we all are committed to bring about change in Burma, but then the question is how? How can we influence [a government] that has a repressive military regime, which has prosecuted its own people? How can we effectively deal with them?” he asked.

“This administration is seeking a fresh look on Burma, and it has not yet concluded on a particular path but it is recognized as an area which is a concern for us,” Warlick said.

“We still see a repressive regime,” he said. “We still see political prisoners. Aung San Suu Kyi still remains under house arrest. Added to that is the physical devastation of the country due to Cyclone Nargis.”

Warlick said Burma would continue to be one of the priority issues and the Obama administration would continue to push for its goals through the UN, Asean and other countries. He noted that Burma continues to be on the agenda of the UN Security Council.

During her trip to Asia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the Obama administration will review the policy on Burma including economic sanctions which she said had failed to yield the desired result either to the international community or to the people of Burma.

No deadline was set for the completion of the review.


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