|US ambassador Derek Mitchell says there has been no change in the Obama Administration's policy of engagement with Myanmar despite the recent decision to extend some sanctions. Photo: Hein Htet/Mizzima|
American ambassador Derek Mitchell has defended the recent decision by President Barack Obama to extend some sanctions against Myanmar, saying it had allowed the United States to continue to encourage the reform process and that nothing had changed in its engagement policy.
08 Aug US extends Myanmar gem ban
The United States on Wednesday renewed a ban on the import of gems from Myanmar, hoping to choke off a funding source for the powerful military after broader sanctions ended.
President Barack Obama, who has otherwise normalized relations with Myanmar to reward its democratic reforms, issued an executive order to maintain a ban on rubies and jadeite.
Myanmar economist Dr. Aung Tun Thet says that the country’s business leaders should be ready to “grab every opportunity” that comes available once the European Union (EU) lifts economic sanctions.
The EU eased restrictions on April 23, 2012, and agreed to a one-year suspension of measures targeting almost 500 individuals and more than 800 firms in Myanmar.