Australian PM rules out economic sanctions against Myanmar

Thursday, September 27, 2007

John Howard

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has announced that it will investigate implementing "targeted financial sanctions against regime figures and supporters," but has ruled out economic sanctions against Myanmar. He noted that economic sanctions could harm the people of Myanmar. "You always have a conflict in these situations between demonstrating your position by some kind of sanction, but making sure that those sanctions don't hurt the people who we are really trying to help," he said.

Howard noted the important role that China has in the crisis. "The country that can exert most pressure on Burma is China and we will be encouraging, and we are doing it already, encouraging China to exert a positive influence on the regime to encourage it to hold back on the repression and to adopt a more accommodating attitude towards the people," he said.

Howard described the government of Myanmar as "a thoroughly loathsome regime." He said that his government would tighten visa restrictions for regime officials, and maintain the ban on defence exports to Myanmar.