Wednesday, July 8, 2009

US Expresses Concern over Burma

The Irrawaddy News

WASHINGTON — The United States expressed concern on Tuesday over the state of democracy in Burma, and urged the military junta to release all political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi.

“I think our concerns with the state of democracy are very well known. We, of course, have called for the release of the 2,100 political prisoners in Burma,” the State Department spokesman, Ian C Kelly, told reporters at his daily press briefing.

Kelly said the Obama Administration has called very specifically for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent 13 of the last 19 years under house arrest.

The spokesman said the Obama Administration is currently reviewing its Burma policy. “We have a new Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell. So I would suspect that we will have more to say when we will begin to wrap up this policy review and have more to say at that time,” he said.

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, announced in Bangkok on Saturday that Ibrahim Gambari, the Special UN Envoy for Burma, would convene a meeting of the Group of Friends on Burma for a briefing upon his return to New York.

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