McCain tells Myanmar to make changes

June 3, 2011 at 11:12 AM
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YANGON, Myanmar, June 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., says Myanmar's new military-backed government could face the kind of revolution sweeping through Arab nations.

McCain said unless Myanmar, formerly Burma, is willing to make pro-democracy changes peacefully, it could be wracked by the kind of unrest leaders in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East are experiencing, CNN reported Friday.

"The winds of change are now blowing, and they will not be confined to the Arab world," McCain told reporters in the former capital, Yangon, formerly Rangoon. "Governments that shun evolutionary reforms now will eventually face revolutionary change later. This choice may be deferred. It may be delayed. But it cannot be denied."

McCain spent two days in Myanmar, where he met with senior leaders in its new government. He said it is clear "the new government wants a better relationship with the United States," but he called for "concrete actions" before the U.S. can consider lifting sanctions.

McCain said such actions include the unconditional release of more than 2,000 political prisoners and guarantees of safety for pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as she travels around the country in an upcoming political tour.

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