Friday, 17 February 2012

European Council Eases Myanmar Restrictions

Citing "...the remarkable programme of political reform undertaken by Myanmar..." the European Council today lifted certain restrictive measures against Myanmar. The Council called this "a first step in the EU's response to developments in Myanmar." 

The Council suspended admission restrictions concerning 87 people, comprised of the president, the vice presidents, cabinet members and the speakers of the two houses of parliament and their family members. Those individuals remain subject to a freeze of their assets within the EU.

Speaking of historic changes in Myanmar, Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said: "We strongly encourage the authorities to continue this process. I have launched a full review of our policy towards

Myanmar, and today's decision to suspend certain restrictive measures is a reaction to the positive signs coming from the country. I will visit Myanmar in April after the by-elections, by which time I hope we will have had the chance to complete the review and to have made decisions at an EU level to respond to what I hope will be continued progress."

Today's decision gives legal effect to the Council conclusions of 23 January and does not alter the remainder of the EU's restrictive measures.  A review of all EU restrictive measures on Burma is ongoing, given that they are due to expire on 30 April 2012

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