Feb. 13 - The EU's development commissioner suggests sanctions on Myanmar could be eased after meeting the country's president. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
A top EU official is holding out the prospect of a further easing of sanctions on Myanmar after a meeting on Monday with the country's president. European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR DEVELOPMENT, ANDRIS PIEBALGS, SAYING: "I clearly said, 'Well, if the process continues, the sanctions could be lifted, well as soon as possible. And I explained that it's 27 countries, and we need to convince all 27." A key litmus test of the government's sincerity will be the free and fair by-elections on April 1, which take place just weeks ahead of the EU's annual sanctions review. The government -- anxious to see the end of sanctions -- pulled out all the stops to allow pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to run in the elections for 48 legislative seats. He says it will take more than change to attract business investment in Myanmar (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR DEVELOPMENT, ANDRIS PIEBALGS, SAYING: "I think it would require a lot of steps, from the interest of the EU governments, really if things go well, to encourage companies (to) look again, because they would not come by itself, because they would say, 'Well, how stable are change?'" Piebalgs is in Myanmar for a three-day visit and announced a new 150-million-euro development package for health and education. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters