Respect for Myanmar and its Foreign Affairs Ministry has not risen as high as it should, Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi told a state dinner to mark the ministry’s 70th anniversary.
The Department of Foreign Affairs was established on March 17, 1947, under Bogyoke Aung San.
Suu Kyi is the 23rd foreign affairs minister.
“It depends mainly on our diplomats in foreign relations with other countries. Their manners in everything, such as eating, living and association with foreign diplomats, play a key role in establishing our rank. All the staff have to work for the elected government regardless of how they voted. Government staff can vote for any party in an election but, after the election, all civil servants have a duty to serve the elected government loyally. They should be brave enough to speak up for the sake of the country,” she said.
The ministry was called the "Foreign Office" after independence from British rule but it was renamed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1967.
It had diplomatic ties with 114 countries and more than 1,000 staff, including ambassadors.