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Clinton talks Myanmar, ongoing unrest in Syria

By NBC's Scott Foster

BALI, Indonesia - Secretary of State Clinton says she's headed to Myanmar next month to make a first-hand evaluation about how serious the isolated nation is in implementing democratic reforms.

In an interview today with NBC's Chuck Todd in Bali, Clinton says the United States is encouraged by some steps taken by Myanmar, but says she wants to see more action.

Earlier today at the East Asia Summit in Bali President Obama announced that the U.S. is reopening ties with Myanmar after the nation showed what he described as "flickers of progress."

In recent weeks the new civilian government of Myanmar has released political prisoners and eased restrictions on the media. President Obama says he's dispatching Clinton to the nation, in what will be the first Secretary of State visit there in more than 50 years.

In her interview with NBC News, Secretary Clinton says none of this would have been possible without former political prisoner and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. "She's someone that I admire so greatly...her willingness to spend so much of her life under house arrest for a principle, for the values that we hold dear is incredibly inspiring." Clinton said.

Turning to the ongoing unrest and military crackdown in Syria, Clinton bluntly warned the situation could devolve into an all-out civil war. She says the U.S. wants to see a peaceful, non-violent opposition, but blamed the President Bashar Al-Assad regime for provoking defectors to take up arms.

Asked about the international response, Clinton said the Arab League has sent the unmistakable signal that Assad must go. But, she said there's "no appetite" for the kind of U.S. or U.N. military intervention in Syria like what took place in Libya.

Shifting gears to the race for the White House, Todd asked Clinton whether any of the Republican candidates for President were "ready to answer the 3am phone call." Clinton chose not to apply her famous campaign foreign policy qualifier to the Republican field, saying she's "happy to be out of politics."

But unsurprisingly she did take the chance to praise her boss, saying, "I am very proud of the leadership that President Obama has shown, he's shown unequivocally that he is ready, willing and able to do whatever is necessary for our country."

Turning finally to the news about her daughter Chelsea joining the fourth estate as a NBC News special correspondent, Secretary Clinton admitted, "I was a little surprised that she decided to go for it, but I'm very excited for her."