CANBERRA - US President Barack Obama said on Thursday Myanmar had opened a dialogue on reform but more needs to be done on human rights violations, in his first remarks about the authoritarian regime after the Southeast Asian nation released political prisoners.
"Some political prisoners have been released. The government has begun a dialogue. Still, violations of human rights persist," Obama said in a speech to the Australian parliament.
"So we will continue to speak clearly about the steps that must be taken for the government of Burma to have a better relationship with the United States."
Myanmar's new civilian government, which took office on March 30, freed about 230 political detainees in a general amnesty on Oct. 12, a move welcomed by the West as sign that the former generals in charge might start to ease their strict control of the country after five decades of military rule.