MANILA -- United States Undersecretary for Political Affairs William Burns paid a courtesy call to President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III Tuesday.

In a press briefing, Burns said he visited the country to personally extend congratulations in behalf of US President Barack Obama.

He stressed the US is looking forward to extend its partnership with the country.

Burns is expected to visit Mindanao on Wednesday, saying the US is willing to extend any help in attaining lasting peace in the province.

Burns holds the highest ranking in the Foreign Service and career ambassador.

He was appointed to the highest career position in the US State Department in May 2008.

He served as ambassador to Russia from 2005 until 2008. He also became an ambassador to Jordan from 1998 to 2001.

He also held a number of posts since he entered foreign service in 1982 including Executive Secretary of the State Department and Special Assistant to Secretaries Christopher and Albright; Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Moscow and Acting Director and Principal Deputy Director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)