HT Image
HT Image

'Do more to resolve Myanmar crisis'

The US asks India and China to take serious and concrete actions to push the Burmese Govt in the right direction.
IANS | By Arun Kumar, Washington
UPDATED ON OCT 02, 2007 01:07 PM IST

As the US asked India and China "to do more" to resolve the crisis in Myanmar, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee conveyed New Delhi's concern to his counterpart from the troubled country.

As a close and friendly neighbour, India hoped to see peace, prosperity and stability in Myanmar, Mukherjee told Foreign Minister U Nyan Win in New York on Monday and hoped that the process of national reconciliation and political reform initiated by the government of Myanmar would be taken forward expeditiously.

He also suggested that the government could consider undertaking an inquiry into recent incidents and the use of force.

Mukherjee also discussed the situation in Myanmar with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, India's permanent mission to the UN said.

Meanwhile in Washington, State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey noted that the US in a joint statement with the European Union last week, specifically called on India, China and the Asean countries to do more to support the cause of political dialogue and of freedom for the people of Myanmar

The US, he said on Monday, would certainly like to see "those countries use the influence that they have because of their political relations, as well as their commercial and economic relations with Burma to put pressure on the regime to make those changes actually occur."

Casey said the US was not trying to dictate to India or China how they should develop their national policies, but "it's very clear though that they have an influence over that government, that they can have more of an impact if they choose to do so.

"And we'll leave it to them to determine specifically how. But we want to see them take serious and concrete actions to push the Burmese (Myanmar) government in the right direction."

Asked what specific action the US wanted, Casey said if people would like to emulate US sanctions that would be fine. "But in terms of what specific countries might do to be able to do this, I don't think the Indian Government or the Chinese Government needs me to tell them what the levers in the diplomatic toolbox are that they have. And I think we'd just like to see them use them," he said.

"It's critical that the countries that have the most influence in Burma (Myanmar) right now, including the Chinese, the Indians and the Asean nations, engage in a serious effort with us to change their behaviour," he said and added that sanctions like any other diplomatic tool can only do so much.

Certainly, US would like to see them use what levers are at their command to be able to put pressure on Yangon because "I don't think it's any surprise that sanctions of and by themselves have not led to a specific change of behaviour that we'd all like to see," Casey said.

Story Saved