Monday, November 16, 2009
US President Barack Obama has made a personal appeal to the Myanmar Prime Minister, General Thein Sein, for the release of the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. A White House spokesman said that President Obama took the opportunity of the US-ASEAN meeting to call for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. According to observers the fact that the US President has sat down at the same table with a member of the Myanmar military government is a clear sign that America is serious about wanting to re-engage with the region. The first-ever ASEAN-US Leaders meeting held in Singapore after the APEC Leaders' Summit a joint statement after the meeting, which lasted one and a half hours, the leaders also agreed to increase their collaboration and establish an ASEAN-US Eminent Persons Group.It is to support enhanced ASEAN-US cooperation in addressing regional and global issues.The meeting, which included Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein, was the result of a recent change in US policy to directly engage the Myanmar leadership. This is the first time the US President is meeting all of the 10 ASEAN leaders, but the United States and ASEAN have been regular dialogue partners since 1977. This dialogue is held during the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting at the foreign ministers level.US President Barack Obama said the US is committed to strengthening its engagement with Southeast Asia.Mr Obama said: "During our meeting, we talked about how the United States and ASEAN worked together as partners within this region and throughout the world. We discussed the importance of the challenge of climate change, nuclear proliferation and working together to support the G20 efforts to promote a sustained and balance global economic recovery. "We reaffirmed the policies I put forward in Tokyo yesterday with regards (to) Burma (former name of Myanmar). We also recognised the need to expand high level engagement on these and other major issues." Abhisit Vejjajiva, ASEAN Chair and Thai Prime Minister, said: "ASEAN also stands ready to be a reliable partner of the US in tackling the various global and regional challenges, whether it is climate change, the Doha Round or counter-terrorism and security issues. This has been a historic meeting and we are happy with the progress this enhanced partnership has achieved." The leaders also discussed Myanmar and welcomed the US policy to engage with the government.ASEAN's leaders also stressed the importance of achieving national reconciliation and emphasised that the general elections to be held in Myanmar in 2010 must be conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner in order to be credible to the international community. On climate change, both sides agreed to work closely to ensure the success of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and that the agreed outcome should incorporate long-term cooperative actions to address climate change. ASEAN and the US also recognised the critical importance of adapting to the increasingly severe effects of climate change in the region, and agreed to strengthen collaboration in both research on climate impacts, and development and implementation of appropriate policies and measures. President Obama said he looks forward to a second Leaders' Meeting next year.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Obama ruled out any lifting of sanctions on the Myanmar, saying they would remain till the military regime takes concrete steps towards restoration of democracy and release opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi along with other political prisoners. “We are now communicating directly with the (Myanmar) leadership to make it clear that existing sanctions will remain until there are concrete steps toward democratic reform,” he said while expressing his commitment to strengthen US ties with Asia. The US had recently announced the US policy to engage the military junta in a dialogue, a marked departure from the past wherein it slapped sanctions on Myanmar for its inability to restore democracy and protect human rights. United States has urged ASEAN nations to convince Burma to hold transparent general elections as US President Barack Obama leaves on his debut presidential Asia tour on Thursday. He is scheduled to meet ASEAN leaders in Singapore for the ASEAN – US Summit this week.Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of State on Wednesday spoke about Burma’s election after a meeting with foreign ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), including seven member countries from ASEAN, which was held in Singapore.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
2009-11-12 18:27:14 - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on Myanmar to free opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Stepping up the pressure ahead of President Barack Obama's meeting with the junta's premier, she said the US will continue to call for her unconditional release. The Nobel laureate has spent most of the past 20 years under house arrest after her party won party won the 1990 general elections. The United States has urged ASEAN nations to convince Burma to hold transparent general elections as US President Barack Obama leaves on his debut presidential Asia tour on Thursday. He is scheduled to meet ASEAN leaders in Singapore for the ASEAN – US Summit this week.Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of State on Wednesday spoke about Burma’s election after a meeting with foreign ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), including seven member countries from ASEAN, which was held in Singapore. "We would like to see countries individually and through ASEAN reach out to the Burmese leadership, persuade them that it's time to start planning for free, fair and credible elections in 2010," Clinton said.Hillary Clinton said Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi, is in detention for fourteen years had "every right, as any person should have...to participate in the active democratic life" of her country. "We believe that her detention over so many years is baseless and not founded on any concern other than she is the leader of the political opposition," Clinton said at a news conference in the Philippine capital, Manila. Clinton called for the opposition to be allowed to take part in the reclusive state's planned 2010 election.She also said there could be high-level contacts with the former Burma's junta at a meeting this weekend of Southeast Asian states to be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama -- though no formal bilateral meeting was planned. "First of all there is no meeting," she told reporters. "There may very well be an opportunity for the leaders, including myself, including the president, to meet the leaders of Burma, something that we have not done before."Clinton said of next year's planned election: "I will underscore our skepticism about an election that does not include all of the people or their representatives who are in opposition." Further she added that there were no plans, to drop U.S. economic sanctions on Myanmar.Media agencies Author: Naresh Sagar e-mail Web: www.nksagar.com Phone: 9810974027