Foreign Minister Bob Carr today applauded the lifting of European Union sanctions on Myanmar. Senator Carr said he had sought this outcome in lobbying EU foreign ministers and the EU itself on behalf of Myanmar.
The sanctions decision follows a meeting of European Union Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg on April 22. The EU has also agreed to develop a framework to encourage Myanmar's reform process.
Speaking from Brussels where he addressed the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, Senator Carr said he was pleased Australia had led the way by lifting travel and financial sanctions on Myanmar in June 2012
"I welcome the lifting of these sanctions as an endorsement of Myanmar's efforts for political change," Senator Carr said.
"I remain concerned by religious and ethnic violence in Myanmar and want the government to more effectively intervene to prevent it.
"Specifically I've called for protection of all affected communities including in Rakhine and Kachin states.
"These are deep-seated conflicts and I welcome President Thein Sein's commitment to hold an investigation into recent violence.
"Promoting and, where necessary, having robust discussions about human rights and democracy in Myanmar will remain a central element of our engagement."
Australia lifted travel and financial sanctions on Myanmar on June 12, 2012. Australia's arms embargo against Myanmar remains in place.
Myanmar remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Less than half of all Myanmar children will finish primary school and around 70,000 children under five years old die from preventable causes each year.
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