France to urge EU to ease sanctions on Myanmar

France will urge European Union partners to relax sanctions against Myanmar after elections won by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe says "we have to make a gesture" to support historic reforms in Myanmar.

He said Thursday that France is ready "to propose to our partners in Brussels ... an initial lightening of sanctions." He did not elaborate.

China and southeast Asian nations have called for a lifting of Western sanctions on Myanmar.

The EU has in place an arms embargo and a ban on the sale of goods linked to internal repression. It also has suspended certain development aid programs.

U.S. sanctions remain in place, though the Obama administration said this week it would soon nominate an ambassador to Myanmar and ease some travel and financial restrictions.

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