Obama orders more steps to "build confidence" with Myanmar

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 13, 2012 11:23 AM
Obama orders more steps to "build confidence" with Myanmar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed Myanmar's release of at least 200 political prisoners on Friday and ordered his administration to take additional steps to "build confidence" with Myanmar's government.

Obama, in a statement, called Myanmar's freeing of prisoners a "substantial step forward for democratic reform" but stopped short of announcing a lifting of U.S. economic sanctions that have isolated the former British colony, also known as Burma.

"Much more remains to be done to meet the aspirations of the Burmese people, but the United States is committed to continuing our engagement," Obama said. "I have directed Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton and my administration to take additional steps to build confidence with the government and people of Burma so that we seize this historic and hopeful opportunity."

(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick)