U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said Myanmar would have to change its constitution to guarantee civilian power if it is to see the remaining American economic sanctions on the country lifted.
Speaking in the country’s capital Naypyitaw after meeting with the country’s foreign minister, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mr. Kerry said the key to lifting the remaining sanctions would be for Myanmar to show more progress in reducing the military’s influence as the country continues along the road to democracy. “It is very difficult to complete that journey, in fact impossible to complete that journey, with the current constitution,” Mr. Kerry said.
He was later scheduled to hold talks with Myanmar’s army chief before traveling to Vietnam, where President Barack Obama is due to arrive early Monday for a state visit.
The U.S., along with Europe and Japan, started lifting long-standing sanctions on Myanmar after the country’s former military government began ceding power to a civilian administration in 2011. Investment and trade were allowed in 2012, but sanctions against scores of companies and individuals were retained because of their ties to the previous regime.