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Webb: Suu Kyi backs easing of sanctions

Aug. 17, 2009 at 3:42 PM
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BANGKOK, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Detained Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi wouldn't mind seeing some sanctions against her country lifted, a U.S. senator who met her says.

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., a longtime advocate of easing the tough economic sanctions on the military junta that controls Myanmar, said Monday his rare visit with Suu Kyi during the weekend included comments from her that indicated she at least partially agreed with his position, The Washington Post reported.

"It was my clear impression from her that she is not opposed to lifting some sanctions," Webb told reporters in Bangkok.

The U.S. senator met with Suu Kyi for 40 minutes at home in Yangon, where she is restricted under the terms of her long-standing house arrest. Myanmar's rulers drew worldwide scorn for extending her house arrest by 18 months this month, but Webb says he wants to modify the sanctions partly because they have given China free reign in the country as one of its few remaining supporters.

"My personal view is that sanctions only work when you have all the countries potentially involved participating," Webb told the Post.

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