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Sec. Rice On Burma Regime Vs. Humanitarian Crisis

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
May 7, 2008

"This is not a matter of politics. This is a matter of a humanitarian crisis," -- Secretary Condoleezza Rice

QUESTION: Do you think that the military regime there is shooting itself in the foot by not taking international assistance? Are you frustrated by the fact that they won’t allow U.S. aid in?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, first, let me say that we are deeply concerned about the growing humanitarian crisis in Burma. This is a terrible event. While it is not possible to get reliable figures on how many people are affected, we know that there are many, many, many people who need the help of the international community. And I have been very gratified by the willingness of the international community to step up to the task. There are millions and millions of dollars waiting to be delivered that can help the Burmese people to get through this difficult time. There are assistance teams, including an American assistance team that would be ready to help the people of Burma. And what remains is for the Burmese Government to allow the international community to help its people.

It should be a simple matter. This is not a matter of politics. This is a matter of a humanitarian crisis. And it should be a matter that the Government of Burma wants to see its people receive the help that is available to them. And so we are speaking with governments that might have influence with Burma. We have spoken with all of the nations that you might expect and I will myself make some other calls because this is the kind of crisis that will only get worse, without humanitarian assistance being made available from the international community. Thank you.

2008/361
Released on May 7, 2008

*** Question taken from: Remarks with Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki Upon Signing Joint Declaration of Strategic Partnership and Cooperation

ENDS

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