Burma Welcomes New US Envoy

Posted September 9th, 2011 at 6:25 am (UTC-5)
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The special U.S. envoy to Burma has arrived in the country for talks with leaders of the new nominally civilian government.

Derek Mitchell will spend Friday holding meetings with the Burmese foreign minister and other officials in the administrative capital Naypyitaw. He will also meet with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as a wide range of people from Burmese political and civil groups.

The is Mitchell's first visit to Burma since being confirmed to the post by the U.S. Senate last month. President Barack Obama nominated him to the post as part of the administration's strategy to further U.S. engagement with Burma. Mr. Obama changed Washington's position after he was advised in 2009 that U.S. sanctions imposed on Burma's then-ruling military junta were not working.

The long-ruling military regime was replaced with a new government after elections last year. But international critics called the vote a sham, since a party backed by the military won the most parliamentary seats.