West should further ease Myanmar sanctions: UN`s Ban

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will become the first foreign dignitary to address Myanmar`s fledgling Parliament.

Naypyidaw: UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged Western nations to further ease sanctions against Myanmar, in a major show of support for changes sweeping through the former pariah state.

"I welcome the action taken so far by the international community, but more needs to be done," he said in a speech in the country`s parliament following talks with reformist President Thein Sein.

"Today, I urge the international community to go even further in lifting, suspending, or easing trade restrictions and other sanctions."

Ban`s is the latest in a string of high-level international visits amid a thaw in the army-dominated nation`s relations with Western nations, which have begun rolling back sanctions against Myanmar to reward political changes.

He is also due to meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on what is his first trip to the country formerly called Burma since decades of military rule ended last year.

Suu Kyi was not in parliament to hear the UN leader`s address because of a row over the swearing-in oath, but on Monday said she would now pledge to "safeguard" the army-created constitution.

The European Union has suspended for one year a wide range of trade, economic and individual sanctions, although it left intact an arms embargo.

But the United States has ruled out an immediate end to its main sanctions on Myanmar.


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