EU decides to lift most sanctions against Myanmar

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The European Union (EU) on Monday decided to suspend restrictive measures against Myanmar and open an office in Yangon.

According to conclusions drawn by the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, the EU will suspend restrictive measures imposed on the Myanmar government, except an arms embargo.

The 27-member bloc will also open an office in Yangon when EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton visits the country from April 28 to 30.

The EU hailed the historic changes in Myanmar which it said was going to open "a new chapter" in bilateral relations.

"The Council supports reinstating the generalized system of preferences for Myanmar as soon as possible once the required conditions are fulfilled, following the assessment of the International Labor Organization," the conclusions said.

According to the conclusions, the EU is eager to engage in the timber resources development. It encourages Myanmar to begin a dialogue with the EU on ways to ensure the sustainable management of Myanmara's forests and harvesting of timber in compliance with national legislation, consistent with fighting poverty and securing livelihoods, as the country has expressed its concern on environmental risks, in particular those related to deforestation and the loss of biodiversity.
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