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Kerry presses Myanmar leaders on human rights, reforms

Published on Aug 9, 2014 9:45 PM
 
US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) shakes hands with Myanmar President Thein Sein (right) during their meeting at the Presidential hall outside the venue of the 47th Asean Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Naypyidaw on Aug 9, 2014. Mr Kerry on Saturday pressed Myanmar's political leaders on Washington's human rights concerns and urged its President Thein Sein to step up constitutional reforms to ensure elections next year are fully credible. -- PHOTO: AFP 

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar (REUTERS) - United States Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday pressed Myanmar's political leaders on Washington's human rights concerns and urged its President Thein Sein to step up constitutional reforms to ensure elections next year are fully credible.

Kerry, in Myanmar's capital for the ASEAN Regional Forum, met Thein Sein and discussed plans for elections in 2015, concerns over the treatment of the minority Muslim Rohingya, as well as the jailing of journalists, a senior State Department official said.

He also discussed these issues with Shwe Mann, the speaker of parliament and leader of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

While officials acknowledged there had been significant change in Myanmar during its political transition since 2011 from military rule, they also said there had been "some resistance and some slowdown" in tackling more difficult issues such as press freedom and constitutional reforms.

 
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