Australia will lift its remaining financial sanctions and travel restrictions against Myanmar, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced Thursday, citing the southeast Asian country's progress toward democratic reforms following decades of military rule.
Myanmar has made great strides over the past year, though there is more to be done, Carr said during state visit to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, where he met with both President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The point has been reached where lifting sanctions is the best way to promote further progress.
Carr also pledged to double foreign aid to the Myanmar to $100 million by 2015.
Myanmar's economy has stagnated from five decades of authoritarian rule and is only now emerging after holding its first open elections under a new constitution in 2010. Australia has joined the U.S. and E.U., which also both recently eased sanctions, in seeking to promote further democratic reforms in Myanmar and establish greater bilateral ties.