Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for democracy (NLD), Myanmar’s main opposition party, is “not opposed” to the partial lifting of sanctions against the country’s military junta, US Senator Jim Webb said today. a few days ago he met both the Nobel Prize laureate in Yangon and junta strongman Than Shwe in Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s administrative capital.
In the past Aung San Suu Kyi openly discouraged foreign investors and governments from reaching economic agreements with the country’s military junta. This time things appear different according to Webb, who on several occasions criticised US sanctions for failing to meet their goal.
“With respect to Aung San Suu Kyi, I don't want to take the risk of misrepresenting her views but I would say to you it was my clear impression from her that she is not opposed to lifting some sanctions,” Webb said. “I can say it was my impression from listening to her in the conversation that there were some areas that she would be willing to look at”.
In his stay in Myanmar Senator Webb also met General Than Shwe, head of the country’s military regime. This meeting was the highest between a Myanmar and a US official.
Following Aung San Suu Kyi’s sentence to 18 months of house arrest, the European Union and the United States renewed their sanctions against Myanmar.
However, some senior US politicians, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have said a review was needed in light of their inefficacy. Critics of the existing policy insist that a new approach towards Myanmar was needed
Lastly US citizen John Yettaw, 54, was deported yesterday. Currently, he is being treated in a Thai hospital.
A court in Myanmar had sentenced him to seven years of hard labour for entering Aung San Suu Kyi’s home.