U.S. Ambassador To Myanmar The First Since 1990
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. For the first time since 1990, the United States has named an ambassador to Myanmar. The Obama administration made that announcement today. What's more, it's opening up some opportunities for U.S. companies to do business in the country, which is also known as Burma.
BLOCK: As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, this is all part of a broader effort to promote political reform.
MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted her counterpart for Myanmar at the State Department for what she called an historic moment. The U.S. is suspending some sanctions to let U.S. companies into the mineral-rich country.
SECRETARY HILLARY CLINTON: So, today, we say to American business, invest in Burma and do it responsibly. Be an agent of positive change and be a good corporate citizen. Let's all work together to create jobs, opportunity and support reform.
KELEMEN: She cautions the U.S. is keeping sanctions legislation on the books as an insurance policy. Myanmar has released some political prisoners and the country's most famous dissident, Aung San Suu Kyi, and her supporters now have seats in parliament.
Clinton says the U.S. wants to support these changes in the country, but she also wants to make sure the U.S. and its businesses act wisely.
CLINTON: We will keep our eyes wide open to try to ensure that anyone who abuses human rights or obstructs reforms or engages in corruption do not benefit financially from increased trade and investment with the United States, including companies owned or operated by the military.
KELEMEN: Standing alongside Clinton, Myanmar's foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, welcomed news of the exchange of ambassadors.
WUNNA MAUNG LWIN: The decision on the appointment of ambassadors in both countries is an important step forward in our efforts to resumption of normal diplomatic relations after more than 20 years.
KELEMEN: He says his country's current ambassador to the United Nations will come to Washington and he praised the Obama administration's nominee to be ambassador, Derek Mitchell. Mitchell has been the envoy who has overseen the warming of relations between the two countries.
Michele Kelemen, NPR News, the State Department.
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