Ye Htut Calls on US to ‘Unconditionally Lift’ Remaining Sanctions

By The Irrawaddy 16 February 2016

Burma’s Minister of Information Ye Htut on Tuesday called on the US to lift remaining sanctions on Burma following the country’s successful elections.

Speaking to Voice of America on the sidelines of a US-ASEAN Summit in California, Ye Htut said: “At a time when [Burma] has reached another stage in the transition process, proven by the election results, the best way that the US can help Burmese citizens is by unconditionally lifting all economic sanctions against [Burma].”

Ye Htut is accompanying Vice President Nyan Tun at the Feb. 15-16 summit hosted by US President Barack Obama. President Thein Sein pulled out of the dialogue at the eleventh hour due, according to Ye Htut, to the country’s delicate transition period.

Asked by VOA about the Burmese delegation’s agenda at the summit, Ye Htut reportedly said they would request the continued assistance of the US and ASEAN governments as a new government prepares to take over on April 1.

The US lifted some sanctions against the former pariah state after Thein Sein’s administration took power in 2011. However, some restrictions remain, including an arms embargo and a blacklist preventing US firms from doing business with targeted individuals.