U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is warning the leaders of Myanmar that improved relations with the United States will require a significant speed-up in its democratic transition and a halt to what Washington sees as backsliding on commitments to improve human rights.

After hailing Myanmar's decision to end decades of direct military rule that resulted in the easing of U.S. sanctions and a 2012 visit by President Barack Obama, Washington has become alarmed at worsening conditions in Myanmar, including anti-Muslim discrimination, violence and infringements on press freedom.

American officials say Kerry raised those issues on Saturday with Myanmar's president and lawmakers and also urged that they proceed apace with constitutional reforms to ensure that elections set for next year are free, fair and credible.