EU agrees to suspend Myanmar sanctions

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 The European Union (EU) has formally agreed to suspend sanctions against Myanmar, with an exception of its arms embargo, for a year in recognition of “historic changes” in the country, BBC reported officials as saying.

“The European Union has followed with respect and appreciation the historic changes in Myanmar/Burma over the past year and encourages the wide-ranging reforms to continue,” said a statement released by the Council of the European Union at the ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg.

“As a means to welcome and encourage the reform process, the council will suspend restrictive measures imposed on the government, with the exception of the arms embargo, which it will retain.”

The EU had imposed measures against individuals and companies from Myanmar besides withholding some aid money.

The move comes after Myanmar’s parliament re-opened amid a boycott by the opposition because of a row over the oath of office for members of parliament.

The EU decision, which had been expected, will take effect later this week.

Earlier this month, the US lifted a ban on charity works by non-profit groups in Myanmar after the country successfully held its parliamentary elections earlier this month.

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