Hard work ahead for Myanmar, says new EU ambassador

Myanmar needs to work hard to overcome the challenges of becoming a modern, prosperous and peaceful country, says the European Union’s new ambassador, Mr Kristian Schmidt.

Schmidt made the comment in a press release issued by the EU on October 17 after he presented his credentials to President U Htin Kyaw at a ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw.

Schmidt said he applied to serve the EU in Myanmar because he believed the country could achieve something “extraordinary”.

“The people of Myanmar made a democratic decision to escape decades of isolation and re-join the community of nations with dignity and self-confidence,” he said.

“Hard work is needed to overcome the challenges in becoming a modern, peaceful and prosperous democracy, and no-one else can do it for you. But I look forward to walking with you for the coming four years,” said the ambassador, a Dane.

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Schmidt, who previously served as EU ambassador to Uganda, has extensive experience in development cooperation, security and peace-keeping, the news release said.

He replaces Mr Roland Kobia, a Belgian, who in September 2013 became the first resident EU ambassador to Myanmar.

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