U.S. Ambassador To Myanmar The First Since 1990 Relations between Washington, D.C., and the former pariah state, Myanmar continue to warm. On Thursday, the Obama administration named the first full ambassador to Myanmar in more than two decades.

U.S. Ambassador To Myanmar The First Since 1990

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/152944888/152952438" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.


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.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.