Wednesday, March 6, 2013

More reform needed in Myanmar, says EU

Wednesday, 06 March 2013 12:19 Rosie Gogan-Keogh

Jose Barroso, the European Commission President, has said that he is encouraged by Myanmar's reforms but that much more work is needed. The announcement came following a meeting with President Thein Sein on March 5 in Brussels.

Myanmar's President Thein Sein (left) shakes hands with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso in Brussels on March 5, 2013. (Photo:

"Despite the impressive change that is underway the reforms and the transition (to democracy) are not completed," said Barroso in a statement, according to a UPI report.

Barroso said the EU would provide a further US$7 million in aid for refugees and another $195 to assist with democratic reforms.

The Austrian president, Dr. Heinz Fisher, pledged support for fully lifting EU sanctions against Myanmar following his meeting with Thein Sein at the Presidential Palace in Vienna on March 4.

"The Austrian government belongs to those countries, which after all the progress that has been reached, are in favour of lifting these sanctions," he said.

In April 2012, the EU suspended all sanctions against Myanmar, apart from an arms embargo, following Thein Sein's reforms since becoming president in early 2011.

The president's 10-day European trip will conclude in Italy later this week.
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