Australia eases Myanmar sanctions
SYDNEY AUSTRALIA said on Monday it would scale back sanctions against Myanmar in recognition of steps taken by the formerly isolated military regime towards democracy and greater regional engagement.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said Canberra was revising down its sanctions list to remove ex-ministers who had left politics and tourism officials, and members of the new government would “not be listed at this time”.
“We hope positive developments, such as the increased participation of opposition parties in the political process, the release of around 220 political prisoners and new labour laws that will legalise trade unions will continue,” Rudd said in a statement.
“In this context we will keep our approach to sanctions under review.” Australia applies financial and travel restrictions to certain individuals and there is a blanket arms embargo to Myanmar which Rudd said “will remain.” Myanmar’s military rulers held rare elections in 2010 and later nominally handed over power to civilians, with outright army rule ending in March.