Obama declares 'new chapter' for US, Myanmar

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By ANNE GEARAN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is declaring a "new chapter" in U.S. relations with Myanmar, the former pariah state also known as Burma.

Obama says the U.S. is rewarding democratic progress in Myanmar with announcement of the first U.S. ambassador in 22 years and an easing of investment restrictions. Obama's comments on those developments came in a statement issued by the White House.

Obama says opening up greater economic engagement will help support reformers and speed development.

He pointed to the parliamentary election of opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi as a prominent example of progress.

But Obama says the U.S. remains concerned about a closed political system and human rights issues in Myanmar. The U.S. is retaining sanctions on individuals accused of human rights violations.

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