Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi Supports Easing US Sanctions

Posted September 18th, 2012 at 2:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says there is a “great eagerness” in her country for U.S. sanctions to be removed.

In a Tuesday speech in Washington, she said U.S. relations with Burma should be based on accountability.

“I do not think that we need to cling on to sanctions unnecessarily because I want our people to be responsible for their own destiny and not to depend too much on external props.”

U.S. President Barack Obama is considering relaxing some of the tough sanctions that were imposed on Burma because of the former government's poor human rights record. Conditions in the country have improved since a nominally civilian government came to power last year.

Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in the U.S. on Monday for a 17-day visit that marks her first trip to the country since her 2010 release from house arrest. During her Tuesday speech, she also said her country is in need of aid for health and education.

Earlier Tuesday, she met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who said there was a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm over the Nobel Peace Prize winner's trip.

Part of her trip coincides with next week's visit by Burmese President Thein Sein, who will address the United Nations General Assembly.

Aung San Suu Kyi is scheduled to make an appearance at the Voice of America later Tuesday.

On Wednesday, lawmakers will present her with the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Other stops on her visit include the states of California, New York and Indiana. Fort Wayne, Indiana is home to one of the country's largest Burmese-American communities.

Aung San Suu Kyi spent nearly 20 years under house arrest. She is now a member of the Burmese parliament.