US State Dept No 2 Sherman speaks with Myanmar shadow government

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. - AP

WASHINGTON (Reuters):The No. 2 US diplomat, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, spoke on Wednesday (Aug 4) with a representative of Myanmar's government in exile, the first announced contact between a senior US official and the rival administration to the generals who overthrew a democratically elected government.

The State Department said Sherman spoke with Zin Mar Aung, who has been appointed acting foreign minister in the shadow National Unity Government (NUG) for Myanmar, also known as Burma.

The NUG was formed by members of the elected government and other opponents of the generals who toppled a democratically elected government six months ago, plunging the country into turmoil.

Myanmar's economy has collapsed and a humanitarian crisis worsened in the past month as coronavirus infections surged, overwhelming the health system.

"They discussed ongoing efforts to return Burma to a path to democracy, including continued U.S. support for the pro-democracy movement," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

"In addition, they discussed efforts to combat rising Covid-19 infections in Burma and to provide critical humanitarian assistance to the people of Burma."

Unlike many of its neighbours, Myanmar has not received coronavirus vaccines from the United States amid a vaccine diplomacy push from the Biden administration. Washington has imposed sanctions on the military and some of its business interests and has had little contact with the military-led government.

Hours earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met virtually with counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and called on them to take joint action to urge the military to end violence, the State Department said.

Blinken welcomed the bloc's appointment of Brunei's second minister for foreign affairs, Erywan Yusof, as special envoy to Myanmar.

He also urged the group's foreign ministers to push for Myanmar to "release all those unjustly detained, and restore Burma’s path to democracy," the earlier statement said.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Aseanplus News

Singapore's manufacturing output growth further narrowed to 11.2% in August
Myanmar monks march against military junta
The Philippines banks on e-commerce and digital economy to speed up recovery
Singapore on one-month stabilisation phase to slow down Covid-19 spread
Thailand starts rollout of Covid-19 booster shots
Vietnam wants to become food innovation hub in the region, says President
Hong Kong property giants deny Beijing is ramping up pressure on industry to fix city’s housing woes, following reports of officials losing patience
Japan's Princess Mako to give up one-off payment in controversial marriage -media
Covid-19: 13,899 new cases recorded on Saturday (Sept 25)
Inquiry launched into role of British banks in Hong Kong in ‘suppression’ of rights

Stories You'll Enjoy