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Australia eases sanctions on Myanmar


Australia's government has announced an easing of sanctions and moves to normalise trade ties with Myanmar following recent reforms by the country's civilian government.

But Bob Carr, Australia's foreign minister, said on Monday that sanctions would remain in place against about 130 military officials to keep up pressure for further reforms.

Carr said Myanmar President Thein Sein was among 260 civilian officials who would no longer be subject to financial restrictions and travel bans.

"That removes many of the civilians from the list, and that includes President Thein Sein and government ministers," he said.

"But senior serving military officers and people of human rights interest will stay subject to those Australian sanctions."

Speaking from London, where he was due to meet William Hague, his British counterpart, later on Monday, Carr said easing sanctions was recognition of "far-reaching political, economic and social reforms" being implemented in Myanmar after years of international isolation.

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