Friday, April 11, 2008

Burma savvy Scott Marciel named as top US diplomat to Asean --

Burma Savvy Diplomat Named US Envoy to Asean

By WAI MOE Friday, April 11, 2008

The US government has named a top diplomat who is familiar with Burma as its first envoy to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Scot Marciel, currently deputy assistant secretary to the East Asia and Pacific Bureau, said on Wednesday one of his first tasks will be to work with Asean to establish a more effective Burma policy, according to a report by Agence France-Presse.

Scot Marciel at the Washington Foreign Press Center Briefing
“One of my highest priorities, if confirmed, will be to work with Asean and its member nations—to convince Burma’s rulers to end their brutal repression and begin a genuine dialogue leading to a democratic transition,” Marciel said.

Surin Pitsuwan, the Asean secretary-general, said in a press release that Asean welcomed the appointment of Marciel “as a significant gesture of the US in recognizing the importance of Asean.”

He added, “We will be ready to work with the United States on a broad list of issues of mutual interest for the well-being, stability and security of the region.”

The US State Department Web site says Marciel, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, joined the State Department in 1985. His most recent assignments were director of the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia, director of the Office of
Mainland Southeast Asia and director of the Office of Southeastern Europe.

He has also served in Vietnam, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Brazil and Turkey, as well as in the Economic Bureau’s Office of Monetary Affairs. He grew up in Fremont, California. He graduated from the University of California at Davis and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

After the Burma junta’s crackdown on the 2007 mass demonstrations, Marciel gave a briefing to the US Senate and House foreign affairs committees on the civil uprising.

He was also one of main speakers for a seminar “The Crisis in Burma: In Search of a Unified International Response,” which was organized by the Open Society Institute in New York on March 25.
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