03 Aug '11, 11pm

AFP: US Senate confirms Derek Mitchell as Special Envoy to Burma #Burma #Myanmar

WASHINGTON - VETERAN Asia hand Derek Mitchell has been confirmed as the first US special envoy to Myanmar, who will pursue President Barack Obama's policy of engaging the military-backed regime. In addition to endorsing Mr Mitchell, the Senate late on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of career foreign service officer David Bruce Shear as the new ambassador to Vietnam, who succeeds Mr Michael Michalak. Mr Mitchell fills a post that was created when Congress, under then-president George W. Bush, approved a wide-ranging law on Myanmar in 2008 that tightened sanctions. The position was not filled at the time due to a political dispute. After Mr Obama took office in January 2009, his administration concluded that the sanctions aimed at isolating Myanmar had been ineffective and initiated a dialogue with the junta while maintaining the sanctions. The United States has voiced di...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STI...

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