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Aung San Suu Kyi party hails US easing of Myanmar import ban

YANGON -- The political party of Myanmar's democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday welcomed U.S. moves to ease a ban on imports from the long-isolated nation, hailing it as a positive long term step.

The move to lift the last major trade sanctions on Myanmar came after “tripartite” talks involving Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Myanmar President Thein Sein and Suu Kyi, according to a spokesman for the Nobel laureate's party.

“We welcome the lifting of import bans, although of course the people cannot get an immediate benefit from it,” said Ohn Kyaing, of the National League for Democracy (NLD). “But we do think it will be good in the long term.”

The international community began dismantling its embargoes against Myanmar this year in response to reforms including the new quasi-civilian government's eagerness to welcome Suu Kyi and her party into mainstream politics and the freeing of hundreds of political prisoners.

Washington's ban on imports from Myanmar, also known as Burma, was imposed under a 2003 act by Congress, although trade had already slowed to a trickle, with America mostly importing some hardwoods and gems, and some garments.

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