Obama to consider easing Myanmar sanctions as Aung San Suu Kyi visits

Washington [USA], Sept. 14 : United States President Barack Obama will today host Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in the Oval Office, where he is likely to ascertain whether the time is right to remove further economic sanction on Myanmar leaders to help boost economic development in the country.

In November last year, when Suu Kyi won Myanmar's landmark election and claimed majority in the Parliament, ending half a century of dominance by the military, Washington removed certain government-run businesses and some banks from the blacklist in an attempt to jump-start trade, reports the CNN.

A latest round of sanctions relief could ease restrictions on Myanmar's military, which still controls important government functions like its borders and armed forces.

It's, however, not clear whether Suu Kyi would support such sanctions relief. The US is also looking to end restrictions on imports of jade and other precious gems, which could prove a boon to Myanmar's fledgling economy.

US deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes had said last week during Obama's visit to Laos, "I think the biggest thing we can do is help their economy grow by opening up greater trade between Myanmar and the United States and other countries around the world." "Some of that involves sanctions relief, and we've taken steps to relax the sanctions and to authorize greater activity.

It's something that we continue to look at, because the purpose of the sanctions regime was to support a democratic transition, and some of the sanctions even were tied to the treatment of Suu Kyi specifically," he added.

Source: ANI