Britain's Hague announces trip to Myanmar in January

12th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced Monday he will travel to military-backed Myanmar next month, after a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton aimed at boosting reform.

"I will visit Burma in early January and we will remain in close contact with the US on this issue," Hague said during a press conference with Clinton, following their talks here in Washington.

Clinton visited Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, from November 30 to December 2, while British International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell travelled there in mid-November.

"Our common objective is to see political freedom in Burma, and constructive engagement which helps further that goal is very important," Hague said.

Clinton, who was the first US secretary of state to visit Myanmar in more than 50 years, said she saw "openings" during her three-day trip that "give us some grounds for encouragement."

President Thein Sein, while a former general, has surprised both the United States and the opposition for speaking the language of reforms and initiating dialogue both with democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic minorities.

Clinton met both Thein Sein and Suu Kyi.

© 2011 AFP

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