Burma Insight: 01 June 2011 by BDC

Yangon, June 1 — Soon after his arrival in Nay Pyi Taw this morning, US Senator John McCain held extensive talks with Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin at Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Myanmar government sources said.

Following this talks, John McCain is scheduled to hold talks with Vice-President of Myanmar Thiha Thura U Tin Aung Myint Oo at 2:25 pm at the Vice-President office in Nay Pyi Taw.

The US Senator is also scheduled to hold separate talks with the Speaker of Amyotha Hluttaw ( House of Nationalities ) U Khin Aung Myint and Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw ( House of Representatives ) Thura U Shwe Mann this afternoon in Nay Pyi Taw before he flies to Yangon this evening.

John McCain, who unsuccessfully ran against Barack Obama for President in 2008, is here on a three-day official visit. His visit follows just about 11 days after the high-profile visit to Myanmar of US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Joseph Yun.

Though the real purpose of John McCain’s visit was neither officially announced by McCain’s office nor by the Myanmar government, an Embassy source said McCain, who has been known to be a fierce critic of Myanmar military junta that ruled the country from 1988 to 2010 before passing power to an elected government after General Elections in November, has come here to assess the change and the direction of the new government.

The same source said John McCain in his talks with Myanmar government officials will press hard for the release of political prisoners, who numbered about over 2000.

John McCain, who is to fly into Yangon this evening, is due to hold talks with General Secretary of the disbanded National League for Democracy ( NLD ) Aung San Suu Kyi tomorrow afternoon.

This will be John McCain’s second meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi. McCain first met Aung San Suu Kyi while she was under detention in her home in 1990s.

According to NLD spokesman U Nyan Win, McCain will also hold separate talks with Central Executive Committee members of the NLD at the NLD head office tomorrow.

Apart from that McCain also kept separate time to hold series of meetings with a wide range of political parties that contested in the November 2010 General Elections.

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