YANGON: EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton was in Myanmar today to open a ‘new chapter’ of relations following an easing of sanctions that
could prompt a surge of investor interest in the long-isolated state.
Her visit is the most high-profile by the European Union since the military’s brutal five-decade rule of Myanmar came to an end last year, ushering in a quasi-civilian government with a reform agenda that has stunned the world and convinced the bloc to suspend most of its punitive measures.
Ashton met newly elected lawmaker and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi but made no comment on the tense standoff centred on her National League for Democracy party’s much-criticised refusal to take its parliamentary seats, which has left Myanmar in a political quagmire with no clear way out. The sanctions suspension, which Suu Kyi supports, was intended to allow aid and investment in the resource rich but impoverished country.