US defends John Kerry stay in blacklisted Myanmar hotel

John Kerry pours water over Buddha statue in Yangon, Myanmar John Kerry had been in Myanmar to attend a regional conference

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The US has defended Secretary of State John Kerry's decision to stay in a blacklisted hotel in Myanmar (also known as Burma).

Mr Kerry and his delegation stayed at the Lake Garden hotel in Naypyidaw on Saturday night while attending the Asean Regional Summit.

The hotel is owned by U Zaw Zaw, who is blacklisted for having close ties to the country's former military junta.

But hotels are not included in these sanctions, a US official has said.

However, the slight whiff of hypocrisy is a reminder of the difficulties foreign companies face trying to find Burmese business partners who are not somehow connected to the old regime, says the BBC's Myanmar correspondent Jonah Fisher.

Many of the sanctions imposed on Myanmar during its military rule have been lifted.

But the US government has continued to keep a blacklist of those closely connected to the former government.

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