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Derek Mitchell Named Myanmar Ambassador By Obama Administration

By The Associated Press 05/17/12 01:52 PM ET AP

Myanmar
U.S. special envoy to Myanmar Derek Mitchell speaks to reporters during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy Thursday, March 15, 2012, in Yangon, Myanmar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has named the first full ambassador to Myanmar in more than two decades as U.S. political ties warm with the former Southeast Asian pariah state.

As has been long expected, the White House tapped its current special envoy for Myanmar to become a full ambassador. Derek Mitchell has overseen U.S. engagement with Myanmar as the country also known as Burma has undergone startling political reform.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mitchell would be the first U.S. ambassador in the country since 1990. The U.S. is currently represented by a lower-level diplomatic officer.

The announcement came ahead of a meeting Thursday between Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Myanmar's visiting foreign minister.

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Filed by Clare Richardson  |