US official says Myanmar must begin meaningful talks with opposition parties

A senior US official urged Myanmar's military government to begin meaningful talks with the opposition and pressed the country's neighbors to increase pressure on the junta for a transition to democracy. Scot Marciel, a deputy assistant secretary of state, reacted with caution to Myanmar's announcement that it would allow detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to meet her party's officials Friday, the first such meeting in more than three years. "We have to wait and see," Marciel said Thursday at the Foreign Press Center. Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest, said she is ready to cooperate with Myanmar's generals to pursue national reconciliation. But Marciel said, "The regime has not yet said that it will engage in a dialogue."