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Bush to apply sanctions on Myanmar

world Updated: Sep 26, 2007 12:37 IST
US president

US President George W Bush announced new sanctions against Myanmar, which has been at odds with the US over democracy.

"The United States will tighten economic sanctions on the leaders of the regime and their financial backers, and we will impose an expanded visa ban on those responsible for the most egregious violations of human rights as well as their family members," Bush said on Tuesday in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

On Aug 1, Bush renewed a ban on all imports from Myanmar a few days after the US Congress voted overwhelmingly in favour of extending the ban for another year.

Accusing the government of Myanmar of imposing political repression, Washington has been demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi who has been under house arrest for allegedly sabotaging the unity, stability and economic development of the country.

Myanmar, which has categorically rejected the US accusations, insisted that there were no political prisoners in the country.

In his address Bush also urged Cuba to have "free and competitive elections," claiming the Cuban government headed by President Fidel Castro "is nearing its end".

The US does not have full diplomatic relations with Cuba, and has maintained an economic embargo on the country for decades.

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