World Bulletin/News Desk
Australia will lift its remaining financial and travel sanctions against Myanmar and double its aid in a move to encourage further democratic reform as the country tentatively emerges from decades of military rule, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said.
The lifting of economic sanctions, which follows a U.S. suspension of sanctions, will come into effect in coming weeks but Australia's arms embargo against Myanmar will remain in place, Carr said in a statement.
"Myanmar has made great strides over the past year, though there is more to be done," Carr said.
"The point has been reached where lifting sanctions is the best way to promote further progress," he said.
Carr met President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday during a visit to the former Burma.
Myanmar has been slowly putting in place democratic reforms that have attracted the interest of investors and persuaded Western governments to suspend or lift sanctions.
In April, Australia outlined its plan to ease sanctions and normalise bilateral trade relations in recognition of the reforms over the past year. Ruled by a military dictatorship for most of its contemporary history, Myanmar held parliamentary by-elections in April.
The United States announced the suspension of sanctions against Myanmar in May, allowing U.S. energy, mining and financial services companies to look for opportunities in an economy that had been run down by five decades of military rule.
Carr said President Thein Sein and Suu Kyi had also been invited to visit Australia and that Australia will more than double its annual aid to Myanmar, one of the poorest countries in the world, to A$100 million ($99 million) by 2015.
Some 21,000 internally displaced while 66,000 have fled to Bangladesh since October attacks, security ops, report says
The bodies of six women and three men were washed ashore at a beach near the town of Mersing earlier Monday, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said.
At least eight soldiers and a rebel get killed in clash in North Cotabato amid peace talks in Rome, Italy
Mountaineering experts say climbing in winter is more dangerous than spring -- when most people tackle the 8,848 metre peak -- owing to high winds and extreme cold.
The announcement of a probe came a day before parliament was due to debate a report by lawmakers who in October recommended the criminal prosecution of former central bank chief Arjuna Mahendran.
Xu Xiang's was the first insider trading case to be brought to court in the country and involved more than 40 billion yuan ($5.8 billion), respected Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported.
Police say 3 men killed by insurgents for cooperatingf with authorities in Rakhine state
Turkish authorities became suspicious the group was planning to enter Syria, where IS controls territory, and decided to send them back to Indonesia, said the spokesman, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.
Several others wounded during encounter in northeastern India, military says
Huang Xingguo, 62, headed the response committee after the explosion rocked Tianjin in August 2015, devastating a huge swathe of the port city.
Death toll expected to rise further as many people are still under wreckage
Protestors chanted slogans demanding the arrest of Park and business tycoons including Lee Jae-Yong, heir to the Samsung empire, calling them "co-culprits" in the scandal.
The Maldivian rails against the argument forwarded by developing economies such as India that they are entitled to as many years of polluting the environment as the West was allowed.
The opposition delegation will depart for Astana on Saturday