News / Asia

Obama Speaks with Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi

White House officials have released more details on the new U.S. diplomatic outreach to Burma. Following President Obama’s announcement that he will send Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for talks on December 1, officials disclosed more details on Obama's conversation with Aung San Suu Kyi.

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks to reporters in Rangoon (file photo)
Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks to reporters in Rangoon (file photo)

The phone call on November 17 was the president’s first the Burmese democracy leader, who spent years in and out of house arrest and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Officials called the conversation, held while Obama flew to Bali on Air Force One, “very substantive” saying Aung San Suu Kyi updated him on the political situation in the country.

Officials said the president had long been a great admirer of hers and her struggle for democracy and human rights, and he emphasized that the U.S. goal is to see a Burma that is responsive to the will of the people.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the senior officials said, emphasized the importance of a fully inclusive reconciliation process and encouraged Mr. Obama to make clear that the U.S. will work with a Burmese government that demonstrates it is willing to work with the world and with her.

In briefing reporters, the officials also outlined the Obama administration's policy on Burma, put into effect after an extensive review, which involves increased engagement while maintaining pressure in the form of sanctions.

They said real progress in Burma was seen after contested elections led to a new leadership, and quoted Aung San Suu Kyi as saying she views Burma's President Thein Sein as a man “she can do business with."

The senior administration officials said Burma's government had taken “a substantial set of steps” toward reform, with one saying “we think that the winds of change are blowing." But they emphasized more needs to be done.

The officials said the U.S. respects the ASEAN decision to allow Burma to chair the organization in 2014, adding that by then it is hoped progress in Burma will have advanced. One official said the U.S. consulted with China, and Beijing was fully supportive of U.S. engagement.

President Obama and Aung San Suu Kyi also had what the senior administration officials called a lighter moment during their conversation.

They said Aung San Suu Kyi asked about the Obama family dog, “Bo”, and mentioned she too had a dog. Both Aung San Suu Kyi and Obama expressed the hope that they will meet someday in person.

on Dipity.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid