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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2004 > October
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 18, 2004


New EU Sanctions on Burma

The United States welcomes the European Union's announcement of new sanctions on Burma, following the Burmese junta's failure to meet the EU's October 7 deadline for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and the completion of certain concrete steps toward democratization. The EU action is a positive step that underlines the international community's continued desire to see positive and peaceful change in Burma, and we urge the EU to move quickly to final adoption and implementation of the sanctions. Should Burma continue to deny its citizens basic human rights and freedoms, we urge the EU and other democracies in the international community to consider further strengthening sanctions, including placing a comprehensive import ban on Burmese products. We urge the international community to remain focused on this vital matter in order to generate more cooperation in support of the Burmese people's enduring desire for freedom, democracy, and national reconciliation.

We are deeply disappointed that the Burmese junta continues to ignore the demands of the international community and their own citizens for democracy and the free exercise of fundamental human rights. The situation in Burma has further deteriorated since the brutal May 30, 2003, attack on Aung San Suu Kyi and members and supporters of the National League for Democracy (NLD). The United States remains deeply concerned by the continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and over a thousand other political prisoners, the failure of the junta to permit the NLD to open its offices nationwide and operate freely, the denial of full and free participation of ethnic minority and NLD representatives in the National Convention, and by recent reports of serious abuses in southern Shan, Karen and Karenni
States.

2004/1129


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