Saturday, January 14, 2012

Norway abolishes Burma sanctions

Whilst underlining it will still follow existing EU sanctions, including a diamond and lumber trading ban, Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that they will now encourage companies to start putting money into Burma.

 “We will abolish strict advice we have given Norwegian private companies not to invest in Burma,” Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre told NRK.

Norway’s previous instructions to these firms were not to do business with the military regime, even though there was no veto.

 "We now believe it reasonable that Norway signalises Norwegian companies can consider involvement in Myanmar within the EU's framework because of such positive developments in the direction of reform and democracy," he said.

 This new investment encouragement comes as a result of the regime’s recent actions, including releasing several monks, journalists, and leaders of the pro-democratic 88 Generation Student Group.

 “The release of these prisoners of conscience is important for our confidence in the country's civilian government,” the FM stated in a press release.

 A ceasefire agreement was also signed between the Karen National Union (KNU) Guerrillas and the Burmese government this week, contributing towards ending the country’s longest civil war.

 FM Støre is scheduled to visit Myanmar shortly. 
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