Published: Apr 9, 2012
By Kathryn Reid
Myanmar: Elections help ease sanctions
Reuters/Damir Sagolj, courtesy - AlertNet
Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi waves to supporters, April 2, 2012.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that the U.S. government is ready to name an ambassador to Myanmar, establish a USAID mission, and enable U.S. nonprofits to carry out a broader range of development programs that promote democracy, public health, and education.  

U.S. government aid to Myanmar is currently administered from a regional office in Thailand.

Recognizing the achievement of recent elections, Clinton said sanctions will be eased to permit U.S. investments in Myanmar.

The United States has already relaxed some restrictions in response to political reforms.

On April 1, voters in Myanmar filled 43 of 45 contested parliamentary seats with opposition party candidates, a small minority of the more than 600-member body.

Among the new officeholders is National League for Democracy party leader Aung San Suu Kyi who won a seat in the lower house.

Following the elections, Asian national leaders attending a meeting of the 10-nation ASEAN trade group released a statement calling for an immediate end to sanctions against Myanmar in order to support the nation’s democratic and economic development. 

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