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Former Governor Richardson Defends Private Mission To Myanmar

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Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson
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BANGKOK — Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson acknowledges criticism of his humanitarian visit to Myanmar, but he tells The Associated Press he feels his trip was constructive.

Richardson is the highest-profile American to visit the Southeast Asian nation since its military seized power in February. He traveled there last week to discuss delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, medical supplies and other public health needs.

The U.S. government shuns Myanmar’s military-installed government and urges a return to democracy. Opponents of the government who are conducting a militant civil disobedience campaign want the outside world to treat the generals as pariahs, so Richardson ran into a storm of online criticism for engaging with the government.