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EU to extend Burma sanctions for si

Subject: EU to extend Burma sanctions for six months

EU to extend Burma sanctions for six months

           BRUSSELS, April 24 (AFP) - The European Union has agreed to
extend its
           existing sanctions on Burma for a further six months in response
to the refusal
           of the country's military regime to stop human rights abuses,
diplomats said.

           The move has been agreed by EU governments and will be approved
           at a meeting of foreign ministers on Tuesday in Luxembourg,
officials said.

           Ministers will also discuss the United States decision this week
to ban new
           investment in Burma but an early decision to follow the US lead
is not

           The EU moved last October to ban members of Burma's ruling junta
and senior
           members of the military or security forces from travelling to
Europe. Contacts
           at ministerial of senior official level were also frozen.

           The measures strengthened an existing package of sanctions that
included an
           embargo on the sale arms, munitions and military equipment to
Burma, a ban
           on military cooperation and the suspension of non-humanitarian aid or
           development projects.

           The EU also agreed last month to exclude Burma from the
Generalised System
           of Preferences (GSP) which accords preferential access to EU
markets to
           goods from developing countries in protest at the Asian country's
           use of forced labour to promote economic development.