White House uses ‘Myanmar’ name as a ‘diplomatic courtesy’

Kate Grise Contributor
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WASHINGTON — At a White House press briefing during the Burmese president’s visit to the White House, White House press secretary Jay Carney referred to the country as Myanmar as “a diplomatic courtesy.”

“The United States government, over time, has begun to allow limited use of the name Myanmar as a diplomatic courtesy,” Carney said.

Officially, the country is recognized as the Republic of the Union of Burma, and it is still the official policy of the White House that “Burma is the name of the country,” according to Carney.

“Burma has undertaken a number of positive reforms, including releasing over 850 political prisoners, easing media restriction, permitting freedom of speech, assemble and movement,” Carney said.

President Barak Obama met with Burmese President Thein Sein at the White House on Monday.

“We are not changing our policy to officially adopt Myanmar, we believe that showing respect to a government that is pursuing an ambitions reform program and a government that is pursuing that agenda is an important signal,” Carney said.