"Mr President, I was also privileged to be part of the Parliament delegation to Burma. I had the pleasure of meeting Aung San Suu Kyi in her home and I can only echo the words of David Cameron when he said that everyone has been inspired by her struggle.
However, I was also struck by her very cautious attitude to the way ahead. She was absolutely clear that any rush to completely remove sanctions would be premature and reminded us what happened after the last ‘free and fair’ elections in her country – that is, within months, the entire cohort of successful candidates were in prison as the military junta cracked down. She has welcomed proposals to suspend rather than lift sanctions and I believe that this is now the appropriate way forward. Suspension will allow reform to continue and be rewarded but serve as a reminder that the world is still watching.
On the other hand, I would also like to stress that it is vitally important for the well-being of the people of Burma that we move quickly towards opening up the economy and encouraging strong and fair governance, both politically and financially. European companies can, and should, play an important part in harnessing the entrepreneurial flair of the Burmese people and I look forward to seeing them thrive."
Labels: Julie Girling