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Human rights and reform crucial to Burma development

Foreign Secretary discusses human rights reform with Burma Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin and UK Ministers Hugo Swire and Alan Duncan.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Secretary William Hague meeting Burmese Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin in London, 11 February 2013.
William Hague and U Wunna Maung Lwin

Following the meeting today in London, the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

The eyes of the world are on Burma. There has been progress that many thought impossible only a short time ago and we welcome this. We cannot allow this process to falter. I am delighted to welcome the Burmese Foreign Minister to the United Kingdom today and to continue our dialogue following my own visit to Burma a year ago.

The UK’s engagement continues to increase in line with developments on the ground, with the Prime Minister and Mr Swire also visiting in 2012. We welcomed Aung San Suu Kyi to the UK in June and we maintain the largest bilateral commitment of development assistance to Burma: £187 million until 2014.

Today we discussed the steps Burma is taking to push ahead with reform, human rights, and the challenges that remain such as the situation in Rakhine State. I stressed the urgency of improved humanitarian coordination and called for an urgent resolution of the citizenship status for the Rohingya community.

We also discussed the situation in Kachin State and the recent fighting which has raised tensions in the area. I stressed the importance of an immediate and full cessation of hostilities, and for the Burmese government to continue meaningful political dialogue with the Kachin.

I reiterated the UK’s support to Burma as it takes forward reform and long term solutions to the challenges ahead.

Foreign Office Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Hugo Swire said:

Following my recent visit to Burma, including Rakhine State, I appeal to the international community and donors to match the UK’s contribution to relief efforts taking place there. As I set out to the Burmese Foreign Minister, close coordination between the Burmese government and the UN will be vital to help those people still living in camps, particularly as the rainy season in Burma approaches.

Further Information

Hugo Swire will answer questions on Burma via Twitter live on 13 February

British Embassy in Burma website

Read about Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to the UK

Read about Hugo Swire’s visit to Burma

Published 11 February 2013