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US Burma dialogue begin, monks demand timeline

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 12:33

Washington: The Obama Administration and the Burmese Military junta has initiated the US-Burma dialogue process with their first meeting, amidst call from the Burmese monks that there should be time line for such a dialogue process.

Welcoming Obama Administration`s decision to use a combination of sanctions and diplomacy against Burma, the International Burmese Monks Organisation (IBMO) Wednesday demanded a time line for any dialogue process with the military junta.

"US direct diplomacy with the regime should not be an open-ended process, but should take place within a reasonable timeframe and with clear benchmarks," the IBMO said in its written testimony submitted to the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Curt Campbell led the American delegation in the first US-Burma talks. The Burmese Minister of Science and Technology
U Thang led the junta. No details of the meeting held in New York, however, were immediately available.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week and Campbell on Monday had announced the decision of the Obama Administration to hold talks with the Burmese military junta,
even though it insisted that its goals have not changes – protection of human rights and establishment of democracy in that country.

Although the policy of engagement marks a major diversion from the past, Campbell said sanctions would not be lifted immediately.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 12:33

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