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Burmese Official: US Official to Visit Burma

Burmese Official: US Official to Visit Burma

Burmese Official: US Official to Visit Burma

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A Burmese official says a U.S. official will visit Burma next week, but has given no other details of the trip.

The acknowledgement comes a day after a U.S. official said Washington would soon send a mission to Burma as part of the Obama administration's new approach of pragmatic engagement with the country.

Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell told U.S. lawmakers the mission will speak to Burmese military officials, representatives of ethnic nationalities, and the democratic opposition, including detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Campbell also said the mission would address concerns the United States has about ties between Burma and North Korea.

Campbell welcomed news that Burma's labor minister met with Aung San Suu Kyi twice in recent weeks, and that foreign diplomats have also met with her.

However, he said Aung San Suu Kyi must also be allowed to meet with members of her own political party. He says the United States continues to call for her release, as well as all political prisoners in Burma.

Campbell made his remarks to a U.S. congressional committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Aung San Suu Kyi has been under some form of detention for 14 of the last 20 years. She was sentenced in August to an extra 18 months of house arrest for allowing an uninvited American man to stay at her home without official permission.

The international community has denounced Aung San Suu Kyi's conviction, accusing the military of using it as an excuse to prevent her from participating in next year's elections.