Burma - By-elections and Sanctions

Media release

6 April 2012

Australia welcomes the confirmation by Burma's Union Election Commission that Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party have won 43 of the 45 seats contested in last weekend's by-elections.

“I asked our Ambassador to Burma to convey a personal message to Aung San Suu Kyi congratulating her and the NLD on this result,” Foreign Minister Bob Carr said.

“Burma's President Thein Sein has now endorsed the ballot results, and I also want to acknowledge his important role in leading Burma down this reform path.

“It is vital the international community acknowledges changes underway in Burma.”

Australia welcomes United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's statement that the US will appoint an Ambassador to Burma, establish an in-country aid presence and relax some restrictions on officials' travel, financial services and investment.

“I also welcome signals that the European Union may lift sanctions when its Foreign Ministers meet on 23 April, and note ASEAN leaders reiterated their long-standing call for all sanctions against Burma to be lifted,” Senator Carr said.

“Australia will continue to respond to Burma's reforms in tangible ways - I will be making an announcement on our own approach to sanctions against Burma in the coming weeks.

“We will continue to ease our sanctions in ways that acknowledge the progress made to date, while also encouraging further steps toward reform.”

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