Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Beyond the Phnom Penh Headlines

The first of two ASEAN Summits to be held in Cambodia this year concluded today. As expected, the major headline was the ASEAN leaders’ call for an immediate end to Burma sanctions imposed by the West against Myanmar.  Given the size of the victory in the April 1 elections by Aung San Suu Chi’s party, there will be intense pressure on the EU to relax sanctions in its annual review due later this month.  However, the somewhat more skeptical US will likely take at least a year to relax sanctions, due to the need to have the US Congress approve such actions.  In any event, it may be advisable to move carefully in case hardliners in the Myanmar regime decide to roll back on reform. Nevertheless, it appears that Myanmar has taken another step forward.

The other major headline was the naming of Le Luong Minh as ASEAN Secretary General-designate, which we reported on yesterday

There were other AEC-related developments coming out of Phnom Penh: