Suu Kyi urges end to sanctions

Suu Kyi urges end to sanctions

WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi backed the lifting of sanctions on Myanmar on Sept. 18 and reassured China her landmark visit to the United States.

The Nobel peace laureate, who spent 15 years under house arrest, thanked the U.S. for its years of support but, as she received the first of many accolades on her tour, said that Myanmar must build democracy itself.

“I do not think that we need to cling onto sanctions unnecessarily because I want our people to be responsible for their own destiny and not to depend too much on external props,” Suu Kyi said in her trip’s first major appearance.

“There are very many other ways in which the United States can help us to achieve our democratic ends and help us to build up the kind of democratic institutions that we are in such need of. Sanctions are not the only way,” she said in a speech in which she appeared careful not to annoy leaders who have initiated reforms.

Suu Kyi had long supported economic sanctions to pressure her jailers, Myanmar’s junta, which nominally disbanded last year.

The U.S. has been rolling back restrictions, in July opening Myanmar up to U.S. investment despite Suu Kyi’s earlier unease about U.S. firms doing business with the state-owned oil and gas company.