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US Official: Washington Stands With People of Myanmar

  • VOA News

National League for Democracy party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken are seen following a meeting in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Jan. 18, 2016.

National League for Democracy party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken are seen following a meeting in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Jan. 18, 2016.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States will work closely with the new government of Myanmar, saying it is committed to standing with the people in their pursuit of democracy, development and national reconciliation.

Speaking at a news conference in Myanmar's capital, Naypitaw, Monday, Blinken, who is the first U.S. envoy to visit since last year's landmark polls, urged the existing government to complete the transitional process and to release all the political prisoners.

"One of the great legacies of this government is the work that it has done and reform broadly and releasing the political prisoners in particular," said Blinken. "And it would be a fitting completion of that legacy to release all political prisoners so that by the time the transition is complete and new government takes office no one is in jail because of their political views."

Blinken met with President Thein Sein, National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other top officials and offered congratulations on holding a "peaceful" and successful poll.

"The results are testament to the decades-long commitment of Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD to the north star of democracy," said Blinken. "This is a moment of great opportunity - a moment for all of Myanmar's political leaders to work together to for a new government and address differences through dialogue."

In the meetings, talks also focused on the country's economic challenges, the peace process and political dialogue between the government and ethnic nationalities.

After nearly five decades of military-rule, Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a majority of parliamentary seats in the country's November 8 election, becoming the country's first democratically elected government.

Some material for this report came from AP and AFP.

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