US, Myanmar officials meet at security forum

Last Updated: Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 10:22

Phuket: US officials held a rare meeting with a delegation from Myanmar focusing on UN sanctions against North Korea and the treatment of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, an official said on Thursday.
The meeting happened late Wednesday on the eve of Asia`s biggest security conference in the Thai resort island of Phuket, which US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is attending, a senior State Department official said.

Clinton did not attend the meeting with the representatives from the reclusive, junta-ruled nation.

The State Department said the US officials urged Myanmar to implement the terms of a UN Security Council resolution that imposed sanctions on North Korea over its recent missile and nuclear tests.

Clinton had raised concerns earlier Wednesday over the possible transfer of nuclear technology from Kim Jong-Il`s communist regime to military-ruled Myanmar.

The US officials also "noted that the outcome of the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi would affect our willingness and ability to take positive steps in our bilateral relationship."

Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is currently on trial for breaching the terms of her house arrest after an incident in which an American man swam uninvited to her lakeside house in Yangon in May.

She faces up to five years in jail and is being held in the city`s notorious Insein prison.

Clinton said on Wednesday that if Myanmar frees Aung San Suu Kyi "that would open up opportunities at least for my country to expand our relationship with Burma, including investments in Burma," she said, referring to Myanmar by its former name.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 10:22

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