Canada drops non-military sanctions on Myanmar

April 25th, 2012 - 8:43 am ICT by IANS  

Ottawa, April 25 (IANS) Canada has suspended its non-military sanctions against Myanmar in recognition of the latter’s moves towards democracy.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird Tuesday said he made the decision to drop sanctions after Myanmar political activist Aung Sang Suu Kyi, who spent years under house arrest, won a seat in parliament in this month’s elections.

In March, Baird visited Suu Kyi and conferred honorary Canadian citizenship on her.

Baird said he made his decision at Suu Kyi’s advice.

During his visit to Myanmar, Baird also met with the country’s new civilian leaders and said he was impressed by the country’s reforms, Xinhua reported.

The sanctions on imports, exports and financial transactions have been lifted, but Canada will still maintain an embargo on arms and military technology. Baird said he wants more time to monitor the situation before deciding whether to lift the embargo.

He said the sanctions may be re-imposed if Myanmar reverses its policies of freeing political prisoners and relaxing its control of the media.

“This is progress, but much more remains to be done,” Baird told reporters during a news conference.

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