Europe wants Myanmar sanctions eased

April 20, 2012 at 9:44 AM

BRUSSELS, April 20 (UPI) -- European lawmakers invited Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to Brussels to accept a human rights prize awarded to her in 1991.

The European Parliament awarded Suu Kyi with the Sakharov Prize in 1991 for her defense of human rights. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate spent much of the last two decades under house arrest. Now a member of Myanmar's Parliament, she's expected to travel abroad to receive her Nobel Prize, also announced in 1991, later this year.

Myanmar received praise for moving closer to democracy following years of military rule. The European Parliament called on the European government to consider suspending sanctions for one year on Myanmar in recognition of its political reform.

London and Washington have made similar gestures.

Members of Parliament also called on the European Council and European Commission to grant Myanmar's government access to the European market in an effort to address the country's efforts to fight poverty, the political body stated.

Lawmakers, however, called on Myanmar to free remaining political prisoners without delay and let international human rights monitors into the country's prisons.

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