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US plans to ease sanctions on Myanmar

The US announced plans to lift the travel ban on senior leaders from Myanmar, and ease sanctions on American investment in the country, on Wednesday.

The United States Agency for International Development office will be reopened, paving the way to increased foreign assistance, and the first American ambassador to the country since 1990 will be named.

The announcement came only days after elections brought Aung San Suu Kyi and her party into office after years of rule by military junta.

Commenting on recent developments, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said,

“The results of the April 1 parliamentary by-elections represent a dramatic demonstration of popular will that brings a new generation of reformers into government,”

This is an important step in the country’s transformation.

Although most the sanctions on Myanmar are written in law and therefore will require Congress to act in order to lift them, State Department officials have reported that sancions on financial, agriculture, tourism and telecommunications industries will be waivered.

However, sanctions on timber and gem industries, believed to be closely associated with military activity, will remain.

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