Though the country's foreign relations, particularly with Western nations, have been strained, relations have thawed since the reforms following the 2010 elections. After years of diplomatic isolation and economic and military sanctions, the United States relaxed curbs on foreign aid to Burma in November 2011 and announced the resumption of diplomatic relations on 13 January 2012 The European Union has placed sanctions on Burma, including an arms embargo, cessation of trade preferences, and suspension of all aid with the exception of humanitarian aid. U.S. and European government sanctions against the former military government, coupled with boycotts and other direct pressure on corporations by supporters of the democracy movement, have resulted in the withdrawal from the country of most U.S. and many European companies. On 13 April 2012 British Prime Minister David Cameron called for the economic sanctions on Burma to be suspended in the wake of the pro-democracy party gaining 43 seats out of a possible 45 in the 2012 by-elections with the party leader, Aung San Suu Kyi becoming a member of the Burmese parliament.
Despite Western isolation, Asian corporations have generally remained willing to continue investing in the country and to initiate new investments, particularly in natural resource extraction. The country has close relations with neighbouring India and China with several Indian and Chinese companies operating in the country. Under India's Look East policy, fields of cooperation between India and Burma include remote sensing, oil and gas exploration, information technology, hydro power and construction of ports and buildings. In 2008, India suspended military aid to Burma over the issue of human rights abuses by the ruling junta, although it has preserved extensive commercial ties which provide the regime with much needed revenue. The thaw in relations began on 28 November 2011, when Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich and his wife Ludmila arrived in the capital, Naypyidaw, the same day as the country received a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who also met with pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. In September 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi makes a landmark visit to the US, followed by Burma’s reformist president visit to the United Nations.
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Foreign relations refers to the ongoing management of relationships between a public policy administrative organization of a state and other entities external to its authority or influence. The primary goal of such organisations is therefore to create, develop and manage foreign policy and therefore describes relationships as seen from the self-interested perspective of the state when viewing the international milieu.
The term foreign evolved during the mid-13th century CE from ferren, foreyne "out of doors," based on the Old French forain "outer, external, outdoor; remote" reflecting the sense of "not in one's own land" first attested in the late 14th century CE. Spelling in English altered in the 17th century, perhaps by influence of reign and sovereign, both associated at the time with the most common office of monarch that determined foreign policy, a set of diplomatic goals that seeks to outline how a country will interact with other countries of the world.
The idea of long-term management of relationships only evolved with the development of a professional diplomatic corps that managed diplomacy, a term attested since 1711, which was "pertaining to documents, texts, charters, and treaties" as the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or nations.
In the 18th century, due to extreme turbulence in European diplomacy and ongoing cultural, social, economic, political and military conflicts, the practice of diplomacy was often fragmented by the necessity to deal with isolated issues, termed "affairs", and therefore while domestic management of such issues was termed civil affairs (peasant riots, treasury shortfalls, and court intrigues), the term foreign affairs was applied to the management of temporary issues outside the sovereign realm. This term remained in widespread use in the English-speaking states into the 20th century, and remains the name of departments in several states that manage foreign relations. Although originally intended to describe short term management of specific concern, these departments now manage all day-to-day long-term international relations among states within the international system their nation participates in.
Foreign relations are governed by several conditions within which they exist:
- Chronological - foreign relations may be operational and ongoing where other nations are concerned, or project-based and temporary where non-state international agents are concerned; they may relate to factors of historical or future considerations
- Contextualised - foreign relations may be particularly affected by pertaining to regional, economic or common goal oriented international organisational issues, etc.
- Environmental - foreign relations may develop to be cooperative, adversarial, predatory, altruistic, mentoring, parasitic, etc.
- Dynamic - Contain a degree of dependence or interdependence; a colony would have a static relationship with the colonizer
- Oriented - foreign relationships are ideally based on commitment to common goals, but can be dysfunctional, and even destructive
Organisations such as the Council of Foreign Relations in the USA are sometimes employed by government foreign relations organisations to develop foreign policy proposals as alternatives to existing policy, or to provide analytical assessments of evolving relationships.
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... Tha and Phra Khlang redirect here Prior to the creation of the Ministry, much of the country’s foreign relations were handled exclusively by the absolute ... During the Kingdom of Ayutthaya foreign relations were handled by the “Krom Phra Khlang” (Thai กรมพระคลัง) (or the Treasury ... and occasionally referred to as "Berguelang" or "Barcelon" by foreign authors ...
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