Kerry urges Myanmar reforms amidst thaw

  • 22/05/2016
Kerry urges Myanmar reforms amidst thaw

US Secretary of State John Kerry will welcome democratic reforms in Myanmar and underscore the need for more change, including on human rights.

He will visit on Sunday, his first since Myanmar formed its first democratically elected government in 50 years.

During a brief stop, before he joins President Barack Obama in Vietnam on Monday, Kerry will meet Myanmar's Nobel Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, a leader barred from the presidency under a 2008 constitution drafted by the former military rulers.

Kerry, who last visited Myanmar in August 2014, will meet separately with the commander in chief of the armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

"We're looking for new ways to support this new government," a senior State Department official told reporters travelling with Kerry.

Last week, the Obama administration further eased economic and financial sanctions against Myanmar, removing some state-owned banks and enterprises from a blacklist.

It also lifted some restrictions on trade to ease concerns of US firms about doing business in Myanmar.

More than 100 individuals and groups remain on Washington's sanctions blacklist for Myanmar, making them radioactive to the international community and barring US banks or companies from making deals with them.