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Senator: Ease Myanmar sanctions, keep import ban

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June 12, 2012 11:52 AM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — The Senate Republican leader wants to renew an import ban on Myanmar to give the U.S. leverage to prompt further reforms in the military-dominated state.

Sen. Mitch McConnell introduced a resolution Tuesday that would renew sanctions for another year but would accommodate the Obama administration's waiver of restrictions on investment and financial services announced last month.

McConnell's proposal is supportive of the administration's policy. He has long been an influential voice in Congress on the country also known as Burma, a rare area of bipartisan cooperation.

McConnell said Myanmar "has made dramatic changes for the better." He cited releases of political prisoners and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's election to parliament in April.

He said voiced continued concern over ethnic violence and Myanmar's ties with North Korea.