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U.S. Burma Policy Review Conclusions
Monday, September 28, 2009
· The Administration launched a review of Burma policy seven months ago, recognizing that conditions in Burma were deplorable and that neither isolation nor engagement when implemented alone had succeeded in improving those conclusions.
· Throughout this review, the Administration consulted closely with Congress, the international community, and a wide range of stakeholders inside Burma, including with the National League for Democracy.
· For the first time in memory, the Burmese leadership has shown an interest in engaging with the United States. In addition, concerns have emerged about Burma and North Korea’s relationship that require greater focus.
Strategic Goals and Interests:
· We have reaffirmed our fundamental goals in Burma: we support a unified, peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Burma that respects the human rights of its citizens.
· To that end, we will continue to push for the immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners, an end to conflicts with ethnic minorities and human rights violations, and initiation of a credible internal political dialogue with the democratic opposition and ethnic minority leaders on reconciliation and reform.
· We will also press Burma to comply with its international obligations, including on non-proliferation, ending any prohibited military or proliferation-related cooperation with North Korea, and full compliance with UNSCRs 1874 and 1718.
· As Burma makes meaningful progress toward these goals it will be possible to improve the relationship in a step-by-step process. We recognize that this will likely be a long and difficult process and are prepared to sustain our efforts on this front.
· Burma’s continued estrangement from the international community harms the country and has direct, negative consequences beyond Burma’s borders. Burma’s engagement with the outside world will encourage new thinking, reform, and participation in the work of the international community.
· We intend to begin a direct dialogue with Burmese authorities to lay out a path toward better relations. The dialogue will include :
o Democracy and human rights;
o Cooperation on international security issues such as non-proliferation and compliance with UNSCR 1874 and 1718;
o Areas that could be of mutual benefit, such as counternarcotics and recovery of WWII-era remains.
· We will maintain existing sanctions until we see concrete progress towards reform. Lifting sanctions now would send the wrong signal.
· We will tell the Burmese that we will discuss easing sanctions only if they take action on our core concerns.
· We will reserve the option to apply additional targeted sanctions if warranted by events in Burma.
· We will continue our commitment to the Burmese people by expanding humanitarian assistance to the extent we are confident the assistance is reaching the people in need.
· Our experience in providing close to $75 million in Cyclone Nargis relief has proven that we can effectively provide assistance directly to the Burmese people.
Approach to the 2010 Elections:
· We will take a measured approach to the 2010 elections until we can assess the electoral conditions and know whether opposition and ethnic groups will participate.
· We are skeptical that the elections will be either free or fair, but we will stress to the Burmese the conditions that we consider necessary for a credible electoral process.
Cooperation with Others:
· We understand that we cannot meet all of these goals alone. We will increase efforts to engage our partners, intergovernmental fora, and the region to promote change in Burma.
· We value the strong relationship we have had with the EU, Australia, Canada, Japan, the UN, and others in working towards the common goal of democratic transition in Burma. We seek to continue this partnership.
· We will intensify our engagement with ASEAN, China, and India to press the Burmese leadership to reform and to participate responsibly in the international community.
Long Term Efforts:
· We will initiate these efforts immediately, but we are also realistic.
· We know the process may be long and difficult. We should be prepared to sustain our efforts beyond the planned 2010 elections.
· We will be working with our partners to encourage Burma to be more open and to promote new thinking and new ideas. It is important that the Burmese people gain greater exposure to broader ideas.
· It is also important that Burma’s leaders, including Burma’s next generation of leaders, realize that there is a more positive way ahead.
· These efforts may take time; the United States is ready to commit to that long-term effort.
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|QUOTE OF THE DAY|
| We are prepared to sit down, but also recognize that nothing has changed yet on the ground. |
— Kurt Campbell, US's Assistant Secretary of State
|By THE IRRAWADDY|
|The Burmese premier meets Senator Webb, Ambassador Reed and a handpicked group of Burmese and US businessmen on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.|
|By MIN LWIN|
| Tin Aung Myint Oo is already regarded as the fourth most powerful figure in Burma’s ruling junta, but his meteoric rise may not be over yet. |
|By WAI MOE|
| Despite strained relations, top junta generals and Chinese officials celebrate the anniversary of the Communist takeover of China at a reception in Rangoon. |
|By LAWI WENG|
| A leading Mon politician accused of having links with Mon exile organizations was detained by Burmese authorities and released after a warning last week. |
|By TRAN VAN MINH|
|Typhoon Ketsana roared into central Vietnam on Tuesday, killing at least 23 people as it brought flooding and winds of up to 90 mph (144 kph), disaster officials said. Some 170,000 were evacuated from its path.|
Fighting largely came to an end in Karen State’s central Hlaing Bwe Township three months ago, but villagers who fled to Thailand in June to avoid the offensive are still... The Refugee International on Monday hailed the United States for including an increase in humanitarian assistance to the Burmese people in its new policy announced by...
The United States on Monday said it will directly engage with Burma’s military regime but will continue maintaining existing sanctions, and also consult regional countries including...
In a much anticipated speech in front of the United Nations General Assembly, Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein delivered a short address largely rehashing the regime’s long held...
Burmese activists in New York on Monday threw shoes at visiting Foreign Minister Nyan Win, an act of opposition against his representation of the Southeast Asian nation... There will be a positive change in Burma if the military junta responds properly to the offer of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to initiate discussions on having sanctions...