EU to lift Myanmar visa bans

EU foreign ministers agreed today to begin easing sanctions against Myanmar.

EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday
to begin easing sanctions against Myanmar to encourage reform
but will await further positive signals before calling an end
to restrictive measures, diplomats said.

"We will begin by suspending some visa bans as a first
stage from today," said a diplomat speaking on condition of
anonymity as EU foreign ministers began a day of talks in

Lifting all sanctions will be "conditional on the
continuation of positive action by the authorities," the
source added.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton hailed "the
quite extraordinary changes in the last weeks and months" and
announced she would visit the country in April as she went
into the ministerial meetings.

The 27-nation bloc has been divided over how soon to lift
sanctions, with some insisting on waiting for by-elections on
April 1, which will see a historic bid for parliament by Nobel
peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ashton said the European Union had been in contact with
her on the issue.


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