U.S. envoy: Ties could improve if Myanmar makes progress

campbell_marcieOne of two U.S. officials who made a rare trip to Myanmar said Thursday that the United States was willing to improve relations if that nation's ruling military junta takes touchable steps towards democracy.

Scot Marciel, deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said Washington would maintain economic and political sanctions against Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, but that the purpose of the trip was to explore more positive ways to reform the isolated Southeast Asian nation.

"We reaffirmed our commitment to a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Burma," Marciel said. "We stressed the significance of genuine dialogue between the government and ethnic minorities. Fundamentally, the main problem is a lack of an inclusive political process."

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