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EU To Ease Sanctions On Myanmar Following Reforms

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi met with British Foreign Secretary William Hague during his early-January visit to Yangon (pictured), following a meeting in December between Suu Kyi and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The European Union has decided to ease sanctions on Myanmar's leaders after the government moved toward political reform.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels said the EU is ending the visa ban on the president, vice presidents, cabinet ministers, and parliament speakers.

Over the years, the EU has imposed a number of sanctions including an arms embargo on Myanmar, which has been ruled for more than two decades by a military junta.

Myanmar's military-backed civilian government which took office following November 2010 elections has introduced some reforms that have included the release of hundreds of political prisoners.

The EU ministers said further reforms would be followed by further easing of sanctions.

The United States, meanwhile, has decided to upgrade diplomatic relations with Myanmar, saying they would exchange ambassadors.

compiled from agency reports