Burma may be prepared to allow more U.S. aid and relief personnel into the cyclone-ravished country, the top U.S. diplomat in Burma told FOX News.
U.S. Charge D'Affaires Shari Villarosa said she is getting "increasing indications" from the ruling junta that it is considering easing up aid restrictions from other countrries, including the U.S.
In an exclusive telephone interview from Rangoon, she said that there is a "desire" of the Burmese government for "an increased amount of U.S. aid and U.S. personel."
So far, the government has limited American presence to dropping off aid at the Rangoon airport.
This comes as Burma agreed to open its doors to doctors and other medical workers from some neighboring Asian nations over the weekend.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or Asean, who met in Singapore in emergency session, also said it will work with the U.N. to help "facilitate" the distribution of international aid.
Yet, this does not mean Burma's leaders will allow in foreign aid experts immediately, which relief groups say is urgently needed. Nations critical of Burma's closed door policy have also suggested that by blocking aid the junta could be committing a crime against humanity by not allow its people access to life saving food and medicine.
But Villarosa said she is cautiously optimistic that things may change.
"I can't speculate about the time or the specifics," Villarosa told FOX News, regarding greater overall access, "But it is getting more positive ... There seems to be a willingness (on the part of the junta)."
While she cautioned that the idea of U.S. "boots on the ground" raised the "anxiety level" of the government, she did not exclude the presence of civilian U.S. aid workers and equipment in Burma, also known as Myanmar.
"Many different scenarios were being considered," Villarosa said when asked about the reported proposal to transfer aid waiting in U.S. Navy ships off the coast of Burma.
Five C-130 cargo planes flew into Burma Monday, the U.S. military told FOX News. The total aid delivered so far in the U.S. airlift of supplies has now topped 700,000 pounds
The situation inside Burma remains dire. The official toll of dead and missing from Cyclone Nargis is over 130,000 and the U.N. said 2.5 million people are in need.
"The aid has only reached a fraction of those who need it," Villarosa told FOX News. "There is a desperation, a need for food and clean water."
"Without an increase in aid," she added, there is "the likelihood of the spread of disease."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Greg Palkot currently serves as a London-based senior foreign affairs correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 1998 as a correspondent. Follow him on Twitter@GregPalkot.