Thein Sein's trip boosts ties with US
Updated: 2012-10-02 08:22
Myanmar President Thein Sein's week-long visit to the United States, which ended on Sunday, opened a new chapter in the relation between the two countries.
Thein Sein's visit to the country from Sept 24 to 30, which was the first by a Myanmar leader in 46 years, came 18 months after he assumed office in March 2011.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Thein Sein at the Mark Hotel in New York. He repeated his dedication to democratic transition, describing the US recognition as an encouragement to the country to continue on its chosen path.
Noting that it was the third meeting between the two, Clinton said that the US is watching the steady reform process implemented by the president and his cabinet and is responding to every step of Nay Pyi Taw to acknowledge the reform efforts and to encourage further reform.
In recognition of the reform process, the US took a step to normalize commercial relations between the two countries by easing US restrictions on the import of goods from Myanmar.
Clinton promised Thein Sein that she would continue to consult with the US Congress and other relevant stakeholders about additional steps.
Clinton also recognized the efforts of the president to bring an end to ethnic conflicts in order to ensure peace and stability in the country.
Thein Sein also held private talks with former US president Bill Clinton and former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger.
He met with members of the Asia Society, as well as leaders of the European Council, the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce.
During the visit, Thein Sein also attended the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations, which was held in New York on Sept 27, where he delivered a speech.
He said that his country will be participating more actively in UN activities in various fields, and will take the challenges of the 21st century in a bold and resolute manner, while standing as a responsible and respectable nation on the world stage.
"Myanmar is now ushering in a new era," he said.
Regarding domestic affairs, he said that Myanmar's parliament, the judicial system, the armed forces, political parties, the civil society, and the people at large have been taking tangible and irreversible steps toward the democratic transition and the reform process.
"Leaving behind a system of authoritarian government wherein the executive, legislative and judicial power were centralized, we have now been able to put in place a democratic government and a strong, viable parliament," he said.
Citing the encouraging and inclusive political process and significant development in the country, Thein Sein said that "the government and other stakeholders have now been able to foster a new political culture of patience and dialogue".
He said that the country's "political progress is enhancing its political legitimacy. This, in turn, facilitates the creation of basic political stability thereby paving the way for economic and social transformation."
In the economic sector, he stressed the need to pay close attention to investments in sectors such as energy to ensure transparency.