Senators to also meet with Aung San Suu Kyi in Washington
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, and John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, introduced legislation today to lend additional U.S. support to Burma’s ongoing political transition and economic growth since that country’s historic November 2015 elections, while also recognizing that human rights issues, national reconciliation and constitutional reform remain works in progress that must be addressed.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counselor and Foreign Minister of Burma who has long served as a human rights symbol of her people and won the Nobel Peace Prize, will be in Washington this week and is scheduled to meet with senators from both parties.
“Burma has come a long way since the dark days of the military dictatorship, and in recent years has taken historic, important steps toward a democratic future,” Senator Cardin said. “The legislation that we have introduced today seeks to build on Burma’s progress while being clear-eyed about lingering concerns regarding human rights, the plight of the Rohingya, the role of the military in Burmese society and politics, ethnic and national reconciliation, broad-based economic development, and the constitutional reform necessary to facilitate and complete Burma’s transition. The U.S. looks forward to working with the Burmese people through greater support, engagement and partnership on these key issues.”
“After nearly 50 years of military rule, Burma has achieved a historic milestone with a democratic election and successful transition of power to a civilian-led government. This extraordinary development warrants reconsideration of U.S. policy towards Burma, and this legislation seeks to usher in a new era of relations between our two countries that will support continued progress towards democracy, human rights and peace for the Burmese people,” Senator McCain said. “I look forward to discussing how we can strengthen our ties during Aung San Suu Kyi’s historic visit to Washington this week.”
The Burma Strategy Act of 2016:
U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Assistant Democratic Leader, and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) are signed on as original co-sponsors of the legislation.