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US to exchange ambassadors with Burma

13 January 2012 Last updated at 16:58 GMT

The United States has described the release of political prisoners in Burma as a substantial step towards democratic reform and says it will start the process of exchanging ambassadors with Burma.

Large crowds gathered outside jails across the country to greet leaders of the democracy movement, dissident monks and leaders of ethnic autonomy groups as they walked free.

Speaking in Washington, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "this is a momentous day for the diverse people of Burma".