January 24, 2012

Burma Briefing No. 17

EU Foreign Ministers met on 23rd January to discuss Burma policy. This Briefing analyses the Council conclusions issued by EU Foreign Ministers. While the decision to suspend the application of the visa ban against senior government officials is an appropriate and proportional measure in response to changes that have taken place in Burma, the conclusions as a whole are relentlessly upbeat, glossing over or ignoring potential problems. This appears designed to pave the way for a much deeper relaxation of sanctions, which cannot be justified by steps taken so far by the military-backed government. Premature relaxation of sanctions risks marginalising European influence.

Burma Briefing No. 17 EU Foreign Ministers met on 23rd January to discuss Burma policy. This Briefing analyses the Council conclusions issued by EU Foreign Ministers. While the decision to suspend the application of the visa ban against senior government officials is an appropriate and proportional measure in response to changes that have taken place in Burma, the conclusions as a whole are relentlessly upbeat, glossing over or ignoring potential problems. This appears designed to pave the way for a much deeper relaxation of sanctions, which cannot be justified by steps taken so far by the military-backed government. Premature relaxation of sanctions risks marginalising European influence.

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