US Envoy Visits Burma for Second Time

Posted October 24th, 2011 at 5:35 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. officials say special envoy Derek Mitchell has arrived in Burma for his second visit in two months.

A U.S. embassy official told VOA that Mitchell arrived Monday in Rangoon and will continue to the administrative capital, Naypyitaw, for talks with Burmese officials.

The official said Mitchell plans to visit Burma frequently as part of the U.S. policy of principled engagement. The official said he will use every opportunity to press U.S. demands for the release of all political prisoners, dialogue with opposition figures and an end to violence against ethnic minorities.

Mitchell made his first visit to Burma in September. He told VOA's Burmese service afterwards that he had used the visit to discuss the conditions under which U.S. sanctions against Burma could be lifted.

Burma included about 200 of its estimated 2,000 political prisoners in a mass amnesty earlier this month, but many of the most prominent prisoners remain behind bars.

The new government, which took office at the end of March, has also held several meetings with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and taken modest steps to ease its tight media censorship.