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Burmese Minister: Burma Ready to Work With US

A senior Burmese official says his country is willing to work with the United States.

Information Minister General Kyaw Hsan said Wednesday that Burma's military government is "always ready to cooperate with any country," including the United States, as long as it is in their mutual interest.

His comments came during an interview in which he answered questions about a rare meeting between Burmese officials and a U.S. diplomat that took place in Beijing. That was the first time any Burmese official has commented on last month's discussions between a team led by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eric John and Burmese representatives.

A U.S. State Department official said at the time that the Beijing talks focused on human rights and the movement toward democratic rule.

The U.S. side also pressed for access to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years.

The United States and European Union have kept strong sanctions in force against Burma because of the military government's poor human rights record and its failure to honor the results of 1990 elections in which Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, won a landslide victory.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.