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Bush to Announce New Sanctions Against Burmese Government

By VOA News
19 October 2007

President Bush is expected to announce new sanctions against Burma's military government, for its repression of the pro-democracy opposition.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto Friday said Bush warned of additional action a month ago if the Burmese government did not end its repression. He said that unfortunately the government has not responded to those calls.

The president is expected to make his announcement later Friday.

Burmese authorities continue to arrest protesters who participated in demonstrations last month. The government says it has arrested nearly 3,000 people, and that hundreds are still being held and interrogated.

On Thursday, U.N. special envoy to Burma Ibrahim Gambari suggested the Burmese government should be offered incentives in exchange for democratic reforms. He said that would show Burma's rulers that the international community is not just there to punish them.

The European Union this week decided to impose an import embargo on timber, gems and precious metals from Burma in response to the military's crackdown.

U.S. jewelry companies have been urging similar restrictions on Burmese gem imports.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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