Hague Exhorts Myanmar For More Democratic Reforms

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Context

British Foreign Secretary William Hague visited Myanmar to encourage the “government to continue on its path of reform, and to gauge what more Britain can do to support that process”. He followed in the footstep of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who completed a similar trip in November 2011.

Hague was greeted by Thein Sein, Myanmar’s President and later also met opposition leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Britain has not promised any immediate change in European Union sanctions on arms sales, asset freezes and travel bans, or change in a policy that discourages UK businesses from trade with Myanmar. However, it has pledged $289 billion over three years to fund health and education projects through non-governmental groups.

Western nations have cautiously supported reforms that eventually led to the collapse of military junta and put in place a nominally civilian government.