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.
Noor Hassan – a 21-year-old from Nablus – died and two others were injured when an Israeli bus rammed into them, an eyewitness said.
NBA superstars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash: 'System kills young black men under the mask of law.'
The move came following remarks made by Nevo in which he reportedly said that the Jordanian parliament had only cared about marginal issues.
An air strike hit the last functioning commercial airport in Libya's capital Tripoli for a second day running on Tuesday, residents said, as a power struggle in the oil-rich nation intensified.
Around 2,500 women still detained or missing, the Syrian Network for Human Rights says.
Around 80 protesters arrested for assaulting police, illegal assembly, disobeying injunction, and obstructing police work.
Greek-Cypriot and Turkish Republic of NorthernCyprus should be allowed to develop their relationship, says British former Foreign Secretary
Nusra Front, which is fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, killed and captured a number of Lebanese soldiers – including Shiite troops – in Lebanon's border town of Arsal
Streets of Sarajevo decorated with flags as people celebrate in Bosnian capital
Kenyan police used teargas to disperse demonstrators shouting "President, Stop the killings!" outside President Uhuru Kenyatta's offices
Turkey should impose sanctions on Russia and follow the example of European countries, Crimean Tatar leader and member of Ukraine’s parliament has said.
Critics call it discriminatory and anti-democratic, as legislation widens cracks in Israel's governing coalition
ISIL fighters were present in four of Baiji's 12 neighbourhoods, as well as areas on the perimeter of the sprawling refinery complex
A senior Russian official said Ukraine's president's referendum plans on NATO membership would increase regional tensions.
The Palestinian ambassador to Cairo met with protesters and said contacts were underway with Egyptian authorities to solve the problem
At least 270 Palestinian women were killed during this summer's devastating Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian government figures.