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Canadian FM makes first visit to Myanmar

(Xinhua)

13:14, March 08, 2012

YANGON, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird arrived in Nay Pyi Taw Thursday to start a one-day official visit to Myanmar to monitor the country's latest development, according to official sources from the capital.

Baird is described as the first Canadian foreign minister making a landmark visit to Myanmar after a new civilian government was installed on March 30, 2011.

Shortly after his arrival, Baird is scheduled to meet President U Thein Sein, speaker of the House of Representatives U Shwe Mann, Minister of Foreign Affaires U Wunna Maung Lwin and Minister of Rail Transportation U Aung Min, the sources said.

Baird will fly to Yangon after his Nay Pyi Taw visit on the same day and meet with Aung San Suu Kyi, chairwoman of the National League for Democracy (NLD), who is taking part in the upcoming April 1 by-elections.

Canada downgraded its relations with Myanmar in late 1988 and imposed economic sanctions on Myanmar, barring trade with the country and banning visas for then Myanmar high ranking military officials.

The two countries normalized relations afterwards and are dealing at the ambassadorial level.

The Canadian embassy with Myanmar is stationed in Bangkok, Thailand.

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