David Cameron 'to visit Burma' after landmark elections

Mr Cameron arrived in Tokyo on the first leg of his tour The prime minister arrived in Tokyo on the first leg of his tour of East and South East Asia

Related Stories

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to visit Burma this week as part of his tour of South East Asia.

He will be the first Western leader to visit the country since since Aung San Suu Kyi's election to Parliament.

The pro-democracy leader's party won a landslide victory in by-elections on 1 April - prompting the US and EU to talk of easing more sanctions against Burma.

From 1962 to 2011, the country was ruled by a military junta that stifled almost all dissent.

But the installation of a nominally civilian government in March 2011 and a series of reforms since - including the release of hundreds of political prisoners - has led to speculation that decades of international isolation could be coming to an end.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a landmark visit to Burma in December 2011.

And since by-elections on 1 April, in which Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, took 43 out of 45 seats, the US has announced it will further ease sanctions against Burma.

The European Union also looks set to ease restrictions further, having already lifted travel bans on more than 80 senior officials.

Downing Street says it will not confirm Mr Cameron's travel plans. He is currently in Japan on the first leg of a tour of East and South East Asia, largely aimed at boosting trade with the UK.

Jim Della-Giacoma, South East regional director of the International Crisis Group, an organisation which seeks to prevent conflict, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's something of a bold move by the British prime minister.

"It would have been a much more courageous move to do this before the election but since the landslide of the National League for Democracy and Aung San Suu Kyi's election to Parliament, it seems like Mr Cameron is probably going to beat the rush."

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Politics stories



  • Women doing ice bucket challengeChill factor

    How much has the Ice Bucket Challenge achieved?

  • HoneybeesCreating a buzz

    Can President Obama's taskforce save America's bees?

  • Tracer particles show the flow of water around coral (c) Orr H. Shapiro, Vicente I. Fernandez, Melissa S. Garren, Jeffrey S. Guasto, François P. Debaillon-Vesque, Esti Kramarski-Winter, Assaf Vardi, Roman Stocker, PNAS, 2014Troubled waters

    How corals stir up their world to draw in nutrients

  • Ayodeji Adewunmi, Olalekan Olude and Opeyemi Awoyemi standing outside in business attireJobbermen

    The student entrepreneurs behind Nigeria's online jobs giant

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.