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U.S. special envoy says Myanmar visit highly productive one

(Xinhua)

13:15, September 14, 2011

YANGON, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- New U.S. special envoy Derek Mitchell claimed on Wednesday that his five-day Myanmar visit is highly productive, telling the press before his departure that he was encouraged by and pleased with the quality and openness of the exchanges and the constructive and respectful tone of each interaction he had during his visit.

Mitchell, who is U.S. Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Myanmar, met with speaker of the Union Parliament U Khin Aung Myint, speaker of the House of Representatives U Shwe Mann, Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin, Information Minister U Kyaw Hsan and Labor and Social Welfare Minister U Aung Kyi as well as Secretary-General of the Union Solidarity and Development Party U Htay Oo.

Besides, Mitchell also met with noted political figure Aung San Suu Kyi at her residence, representatives of political parties and ethnic minorities in Yangon among others.

He expressed U.S. recognition and welcome of recent gestures from Nay Pyi Taw, such as President U Thein Sein's meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, the government's establishment of a National Human Rights Commission, public emphasis on dialogue with ethnic minority groups in the interest of national reconciliation and moderate easing of media censorship.

"There are heightened expectations and hopes that change may be on the horizon," he said in his press statement.

He also expressed appreciation over the dialogue on issues of Myanmar government's reform and reconciliation which he said was respectful and open.

He stressed that the progress on these issues will be essential to progress in the bilateral relationship, making clear that if the Myanmar government takes genuine and concrete action, the United States will respond in kind.

He added that he will follow the development closely from afar and expects many return visits to Myanmar to continue the U.S. principled engagement policy towards the country.

Mitchell, who arrived in Myanmar on his first talks with the Myanmar government, is the third high-ranking U.S. official to have visited Myanmar so far this year after Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific Joseph Yun and Senator John McCain who came to Myanmar in May and June respectively.

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