North West Lib Dems call for EU to step up Sanctions Against Burma

October 1, 2007 5:29 PM

EU must step up sanctions against Burma

Mark Hunter Liberal Democrat deputy Foreign Affairs Spokesperson and Sajjad Karim MEP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on human rights have called for the EU to impose stronger sanctions on Burma, as the UN is paralysed by a veto from China and Russia.

The EU's Portuguese presidency has already warned that the junta would face tougher sanctions "should they resort to using violence against unarmed and peaceful demonstrators". Existing EU measures include a travel ban on Burma's leaders, an arms embargo and a ban on military cooperation, but no economic sanctions.

Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle, who has signed motions and asked questions on this issue in Parliament, commented that: "We must continue to offer our support to the Burmese monks and the Burmese people in their struggle against tyranny. The courage and resolve of the activists in their protests against a despotic and oppressive junta is truly inspirational.

However, the international community must do more than watch impotently from the sidelines. The situation is now critical and we must make it clear that we expect the junta to show restraint and to stop any further action against protesters."

Speaking from Strasbourg, Sajjad Karim MEP for the North West, who has co-signed European Parliament Resolutions on Burma added: "I have long been calling for the EU to take a tougher stance on Burma. If the UN is paralysed, the EU must step up and impose sanctions that will put serious pressure on those directly responsible for the suffering of the Burmese People.

"If India China and Russia want to be considered as strategic partners of the EU they must end their political support for the Burmese regime and stop providing them with military support via the backdoor."

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