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Clinton arrives in Myanmar for first official visit amid reforms…US rallies Sino pawn

NAY PYI TAW, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Nay Pyi Taw Wednesday afternoon for her first official visit to Myanmar in an attempt to look into Myanmar ‘s political and economic reforms.

She was dispatched by U.S. President Barack Obama for a three- day significant visit until Friday, aiming to enhance cooperation in Myanmar’s positive developments and to open a new chapter of mutual relations.

Coming over from Busan, South Korea, Clinton’s Myanmar visit represents the first ever one to the country by a secretary of state of the U.S. in more than 50 years after John Foster Dulles in February 1955.

During the visit, Clinton is expected to meet with President U Thein Sein, Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin and parliament speakers U Khin Aung Myint and U Shwe Mann in Nay Pyi Taw as well as leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon.

Clinton will register support for Myanmar’s reforms that have been witnessed in recent months and discuss reforms in key areas as well as steps the U.S. can take to reinforce the progress, said U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

He said Clinton will also consult with “a broad and diverse group” of civil society and ethnic minority leaders to have their perspectives on the developments in the country.

U.S. President Obama had said his country wanted to seize the historic opportunity for progress and could forge a new relationship with Myanmar.

Encouraged by some of the steps Myanmar has taken — the release of 6,359 prisoners on Oct. 12 including over 200 prisoners of conscience, the amendment of the party registration law and granting of more press freedom, Clinton called on Myanmar to do more for political reform and seek ways to resolve ethnic conflicts.

The new government in Myanmar, which took office on March 30, has been pushing for political and economic reforms in the country.

The moves won Myanmar the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2014 on Nov. 17.

Obama voiced recognition for democratic reforms of Myanmar’s new government at the 3rd ASEAN-US leaders meeting under the programme of the 19th ASEAN Summit held in Bali of Indonesia on Nov. 18 and his remarks was welcome by President U Thein Sein as positive.

Speaker of the Parliamentary House of Representatives U Shwe Mann also expressed wishes to have regular relationship with the U. S..

Meanwhile, Myanmar’s National Human Rights Commission issued a statement on Sunday welcoming Clinton’s visit which the commission said will pave the way for promoting bilateral relations and provide positive impulses towards Myanmar’s building of a democratic society.

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