Europe to suspend Myanmar sanctions: France

PARIS (Reuters) - European Union governments will suspend sanctions against Myanmar next week, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Friday, in recognition of rapid political and economic reforms after decades of military dictatorship.

“Next Monday we will not lift sanctions but suspend them because we want to check that the regime is progressing on the path of democracy,” Juppe told BFM television. “There is progress but we haven’t reached the final objective yet.”

EU diplomats say sanctions are being suspended - not lifted altogether - to maintain pressure on Myanmar’s quasi-civilian government to keep up its democratic transition.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, long an advocate of sanctions imposed for human rights abuses by Myanmar’s military rules, has spoken out in support of such an approach.

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Louise Ireland