Dec. 2 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggests easing sanctions in return for Myanmar reforms.Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on an historic visit to Myanmar pledged greater ties in exchange for progress. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying (English): "There can be no true peace or justice until it is shared by everyone, in every part of this beautiful, diverse country. And while there has been some progress in political and social matters particularly here in Rangoon, terrible violence continues elsewhere, especially in some of the ethnic nationality area, which in addition to the continuing conflicts suffer from unacceptably high rates of poverty, disease and illiteracy," Clinton's landmark visit to the country also known as Burma marks a tentative rapprochement after more than 50 years of estrangement from the West. Clinton said the United States will support more aid for Myanmar and consider installing an ambassador after an absence of some two decades SOUNDBITE: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying (English): "We are prepared to go further if the reforms maintain momentum, but history teaches us to be cautious. We know that there have been serious setbacks and grave disappointments over the last decades. And we want to see a sustainable reform effort that produces real results." The United States downgraded its representation in Myanmar after the military's 1988 crackdown on pro-democracy protests and voiding of 1990 elections swept by Aung San Suu Kyi's party. Clinton and Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, met at a U.S. diplomatic residence Thursday. Clinton suggested the U.S. could lift sanctions on Myanmar, but cautioned that any change would be based on changes in the nature of the regime. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying (English): "We will match action for action, and if there is enough progress, you know, obviously we will be considering lifting sanctions, but as I said before we are still at the very early stages of this dialogue." Clinton also urged Myanmar to take further steps to release political prisoners and end ethnic conflicts. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters