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Sanctions on Myanmar may ease: Cameron

By Prasun Sonwalkar
April 12, 2012 18:38 IST
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On the eve of his historic visit to Myanmar, Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday indicated that Britain would respond to pro-democracy changes in the country by easing sanctions against it.

Cameron, who is currently on a tour of Southeast Asia, is scheduled to land in Myanmar tomorrow, in the first visit by a top Western leader since decades of military rule ended there last year.

"If Burma moves towards democracy then we should respond in kind, and we should not be slow in doing that. But first I want to go and see for myself on the ground how things are going," Cameron told BBC Radio 5 when asked if sanctions should be lifted.

Cameron also called on the international community to "get behind" the reforms in Myanmar ahead of his scheduled historic visit to the country.

During his visit to Myanmar, Cameron is expected to meet President Thein Sein and Aung Saan Suu Kyi of the National League for Democracy.

ameron said he would "thank him (Thein Sein) for the work he has done" on democratic reforms. He also told reporters while visiting Malaysia today that "just as Britain played a leading role in Europe in placing tough sanctions on that regime (in Myanmar) to encourage it to reform, so ... if we're satisfied that real change is taking place, we should be the ones not being backward in our response."

European Union foreign ministers are to discuss easing sanctions on Myanmar at a meeting on April 23. The sanctions could be eased holding back entrepreneurs and preventing financial institutions from providing loans.

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Prasun Sonwalkar in London
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