WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday lifted U.S. economic sanctions on the former pariah state of Myanmar.
Obama’s move marks the culmination of years of rapprochement between the U.S. and Myanmar that Obama has worked to facilitate. The Southeast Asian nation, also known as Burma, has pursued political reforms over the last five years following decades of oppressive military rule.
Obama had announced plans to lift the sanctions last month, when Myanmar’s new civilian leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, visited the Oval Office. Suu Kyi concurred it was time to remove all the sanctions that had hurt the economy and urged Americans to come to the country and “to make profits.”
The U.S. has already eased broad economic sanctions on Myanmar, including prohibitions on investment and trade. But the U.S. had retained more targeted restrictions on military-owned companies and officials and associates of the former ruling junta. U.S. companies and banks have remained leery of involvement in one of Asia’s last untapped markets.
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