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Cameron calls for suspension of Burma sanctions

British Prime Minister David Cameron has called for a suspension of EU sanctions on Burma, in recognition of its continuing democratic reforms, during the first visit by a British head of state since Burma’s independence in 1948.

Mr Cameron was speaking in Rangoon, where he met President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The prime minister stressed that an arms embargo on Burma should remain in place but it was right to suspend – not lift – other sanctions.

"[Burma] shouldn't be as poor as it is. It shouldn't have suffered under dictatorship for as long as it has, and things don't have to be that way," the prime minister said.

"I do think it is important to send a signal that we want to help see the changes that can bring the growth of freedom of human rights and democracy in your country."

Ms Suu Kyi welcomed the call and said a suspension of the sanctions would aid reformers in the Burmese government.

"We still have a long way to go but we believe we can get there.

"This suspension will have taken place because of the steps taken by the president and other reformers.

"It would also make it quite clear to those who are against reform that should they try to obstruct the way of the reformers, then sanctions could come back."

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