The U.S. State Department said it will remove some of its longstanding sanctions against Burma in light of the by-elections that took place, which saw pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi elected to Parliament earlier this week.
The National League of Democracy, Suu Kyi’s party, won 43 out of the 45 available seats, in an election overseen by a small team of international of observers.
The State Department will be “beginning the process of a targeted easing of our ban on the export of U.S. financial services and investment as part of a broader effort to help accelerate economic modernization and political reform,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a transcript.
“Sanctions and prohibitions will stay in place on individuals and institutions that remain on the wrong side of these historic reform efforts,” she added.
The European Union had said that it would also ease some sanctions on Burmese officials after the elections.
Clinton said Washington will be seeking “a fully accredited ambassador in Rangoon in the coming days” and will establish a USAID mission in the country.
She noted, however, that Burma’s reform process is still uncertain and “has a long way to go” after decades of governance by a repressive military junta that ceded power to a civilian government only a year ago.
To facilitate this, she said, the United States would continue to push for the improvement of the country’s human rights situation and seek the release of political prisoners.