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US to engage Burma (Myanmar): Clinton

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A surprise guest showed up at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York this week: the prime minister of Burma (Myanmar).

Burma – one of the world’s most restrictive military dictatorships – hasn’t attended in 14 years.Myanmar’s appearance coincides with a major policy shift in Washington.

After a careful review, the Obama administration has decided to pursue diplomatic relations with the country’s junta, which has been in power since 1962.

The change comes as the White House appears to recognize that sanctions against Myanmar – currently leveled by the United States and the European Union – have done little to effect democratic changes, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters this week, according to Agance France-Presse:

Realizing that sanctions alone have failed to change the military junta's behavior, President Barack Obama's fledgling administration now intends to move "in the direction of both engagement and continued sanctions," Clinton told reporters.

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