U.S. concerned about restrictions on gatherings after mass demonstrations in Myanmar


U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price speaks during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., February 8, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States was concerned about an order by Myanmar's military restricting public gatherings following three days of large demonstrations against a Feb. 1 military coup, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday.

"We stand with the people of Burma, support their right to assemble peacefully, including to protest peacefully in support of the democratically elected government," Price said at a press briefing.

The crisis in Myanmar, also known as Burma, marks a first major test of Biden’s pledge to prioritize human rights in U.S. foreign policy and collaborate more with allies on international challenges.

The United States, which is working to restrict some aid to Myanmar after determining that a military coup had taken place and has threatened to impose fresh sanctions, was "moving quickly" to form its response to the takeover, Price said.

U.S. officials have been encouraging Myanmar's neighbor China publicly and privately to join global condemnation of the Myanmar military's "anti-democratic action," he said.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Sonya Hepinstall)

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