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Myanmar visit marks policy shift

YANGON, Myanmar – The United States embarked on a new policy of engagement with Myanmar today, sending two senior diplomats for the highest-level visit in more than a decade.

Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campell, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, and his deputy, Scot Marciel, were scheduled to meet senior Myanmar junta officials as well as detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi today and Wednesday, embassy spokesman Richard Mei said.

The two-day trip is part of a new U.S. policy that reverses the Bush administration’s isolation of Myanmar in favor of direct, high-level talks with a country that has been ruled by the military since 1962.

“Mr. Campbell’s visit is the beginning of new U.S. engagement policy toward Myanmar. This is the first step of the engagement but we have to see what comes out of the new engagement policy,” said Nyan Win, spokesman for Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.

Campbell will be the highest ranking U.S. official to visit Myanmar since a September 1995 trip by then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright.


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