David Cameron ready to signal easing of sanctions against Burma
Thursday 12 April 2012
David Cameron is ready to signal the easing of sanctions against Burma when he makes a historic visit to the country tomorrow.
In what is believed to be the first ever visit to the former colony by a British Prime Minister, Mr Cameron will deliver a message of support to democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi in person.
He is also due to meet President Thein Sein and congratulate him on pushing through democratic reforms.
Details of the trip emerged as Mr Cameron continued his trade mission to South East Asia.
At a joint press conference, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak urged his counterpart to relax sanctions.
Mr Najib, who recently held talks with Mr Thein in Burma, said: "I really do believe first of all that he is sincere.
"This has been supported by Aung San Suu Kyi's own personal remarks about him."
He went on: "We need to support a man like President Thein Sein so he will be supported by the community, because there will be elements who want to take a much more conservative approach."
Mr Cameron said developments in Burma may be "one potential chapter of light" in a "world where there are many dark chapters in history being written".
"Of course we should be sceptical. Of course we should be questioning. Of course we shouldn't be naive," he said.
But he added: "Aung San Suu Kyi herself, who has spent so many years in such a long, lonely but powerful struggle, believes that he is acting in good faith."
Britain had played a "leading role" in the imposition of sanctions, and would also not be "backwards" in responding to positive changes, he went on.
In a question-and-answer session with students at the Nottingham University campus in Malaysia later, Mr Cameron said: "I hope that, following my meetings tomorrow, I will have the confidence to go back to my country, back to others in the European Union, and argue that the change in Burma is irreversible, that they are set on a path towards democracy, that, in a world of difficulty and darkness and all sorts of problems, here is one bright light that we should encourage, and we should respond in a way that makes that regime feel that it is moving in the right direction and that the world is on its side."
Ten members of the business delegation who have been accompanying Mr Cameron around South East Asia are due to travel to Burma tomorrow.
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ sign language interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Australia: Gay marriage law reversed by high court less than a week after first weddings
Church versus state: Scientology faces unholy war after court ruling
Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ sign language interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
- 3 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 4 Australia: Gay marriage law reversed by high court less than a week after first weddings
- 5 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- < Previous
- Next >
£400 - £450 per day: Harrington Starr: Technical Architect - .NET Consultant ....
£400 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Technical Architect - .NET, WPF, WCF, M...
£19999 - £25001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top Tier accoun...
£45000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: My client, a well respecte...