WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and its Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, and the author of the Burma Strategy Act of 2016, released the following statement Friday after President Obama announced a new executive order lifting the ’emergency’ designation for Burma, ending U.S. sanctions on that nation per the International Emergency Economic Powers Act law:
“Like President Obama, I too believe it is time to end the emergency designation for Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi spoke of the importance of beginning the next chapter in our two nations’ relationship during her meeting with congressional leaders in Washington last month – a sentiment I fully agree with. I therefore welcome today’s announcement.
“Burma has come a long way in recent years. While I firmly believe that the pressure from our sanctions were essential in helping to bring about the political transition in Burma, today is a new day and it is appropriate and necessary to end our sanctions regime as we work with Daw Suu and the NLD-led government to build a democratic and inclusive future for the people of Burma.
“At the same time, even as we lift these sanctions we must maintain a focus on on-going concerns regarding the role of the military in Burma’s economy and politics – an issue that Daw Suu specifically raised in her meetings with members of the Senate last month – as well as human rights, the plight of the Rohingya, ethnic and national reconciliation, broad-based economic development, and the constitutional reform necessary to facilitate and complete Burma’s transition.”