Australia, Norway, Ease Burma Sanctions

Posted April 16th, 2012 at 2:40 am (UTC-5)
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Australia announced Monday that it will lift some sanctions against Burma in response to government reforms of the past year.

Speaking from London, Foreign Minister Bobb Carr told Australian radio that travel restrictions on President Thein Sein and more than 200 other officials will be lifted. However restrictions on travel and financial dealings will remain in place for about 130 other officials, including members of the military and individuals suspected of human rights abuses.

The announcement comes days after British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Burma. following talks with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, he said Britain will suspend most sanctions on Burma but retain an arms embargo.

Norway agreed Sunday to lift economic sanctions against Burma, while keeping the arms embargo and limitations on military cooperation in force. Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoer said in a statement that what Burma needs now is contact with the rest of the world, economic development and international aid.

Since taking office just over a year ago, President Thein Sein has implemented a number of reforms, including the release of hundreds of political prisoners, easing media censorship and holding peace talks with ethnic rebels.