Suu Kyi refuses to take oath; EU suspends sanctions

Suu Kyi refuses to take oath; EU suspends sanctions

Myanmar’s parliament reopened with Aung San Suu Kyi refusing to take a seat on Monday, while the nation’s president vowed “no U-turn” on reforms as the EU prepares to suspend sanctions.

Suu Kyi’s party has refused to swear to “safeguard” an army-created constitution in the first sign of tension with the government since a landmark by-election this month saw the democracy icon win a parliamentary seat. Suu Kyi has shown increased confidence in the reformist government of President Thein Sein in recent weeks, calling for the EU sanctions suspension and planning her first international trip in 24 years.

Thein Sein, who is currently on a visit to Japan, on Monday vowed that he would not backtrack on the country’s democratisation. “There won’t be any U-turn,” Thein Sein said, according to the Mainichi Shimbun. But he rejected the suggestion that he would alter Myanmar’s parliamentary oath to accommodate Suu Kyi, telling reporters that it was up to her whether or not she took the seat. EU suspends Myanmar sanctions after reforms
Meanwhile, the European Union on Monday suspended its sanctions against Myanmar for a year following a wave of widely praised political reforms in the country, but will retain an embargo on arms sales, officials said. The EU wants to support the progress made in the southeastern Asian nation “so it becomes irreversible,” said foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. She will travel to Myanmar this week.

The measure were adopted by the bloc’s foreign ministers in Luxembourg, said spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic.

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