Sen. Webb’s Burmese Vacation
Posted on Aug 14, 2009
Sen. Jim Webb is the first senior U.S. official in more than 10 years to visit Burma, triggering speculation that the White House may be trying to nudge the authoritarian regime there into a “new era of engagement.” The trip follows the recent ludicrous sentencing of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 more months of house arrest.
The first visit to Burma by a senior US official for more than a decade has triggered speculation that the Obama administration will attempt to steer the regime towards a new era of engagement.
Jim Webb, a Democratic senator from Virginia, arrived in Burma this afternoon, days after the country’s junta sentenced the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, to 18 months’ house arrest.
Webb, who served in the Reagan administration but is now considered a close ally of Barack Obama, is expected to meet the country’s leader, Senior General Than Shwe, in the country’s remote capital Naypyidaw, tomorrow [Thursday].
Webb is expected to request a meeting with Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during his stay in Yangon (Rangoon).