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Sanctions easing against Myanmar, but should they?

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In recent months, the West has been responsive to discussions with the government in Myanmar to open up the relationships. In return for ending sanctions, Myanmar allowed elections and have freed some (not all) of the political prisoners. With each step, Western governments have made moves to normalize the relationships including steps leading to aid agreements and eventually trade agreements.

One of the opposition groups in Myanmar is pushing back, arguing that these rapid changes are sending the "wrong signal" to the government since so many more political prisoners remain and the war against ethic groups continues. They're not wrong with this argument, though without some links into the previously secretive and closed government, the West has almost no leverage with the government.

If you look at countries like Iran and Syria, the US faces challenges in pushing the local governments since there are so few links. The reasons behind the lack of links is understandable, but without any leverage, is being completely cut off really in the best interest of the West or the local opposition groups? More on the evolving links between the West and Myanmar at Al Jazeera.

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