10 Apr '11, 3am

President Obama will name Derek Mitchell as US special envoy to Burma.

WASHINGTON - PRESIDENT Barack Obama plans to name a defence official as special envoy to Myanmar who is expected to seek more help from the repressive government's neighbours in pressing for democratic reform. But building agreement on the best way to proceed will be tricky. South-east Asian nations have called for lifting sanctions, which the US still opposes, while regional powers India and China have their own strategic relationships with Myanmar and have shown little appetite for meddling in its internal affairs. To be confirmed by the Senate, Mr Derek Mitchell, who is now the deputy assistant secretary of defence for Asian and Pacific security affairs, will likely have to voice support for sanctions and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. That could make it tougher for the envoy to negotiate with Myanmar's dominant military once he is in the job, said Mr David Steinbe...

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

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