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Obama issues executive order lifting U.S. economic sanctions on former pariah state Myanmar

Obama issues executive order lifting U.S. economic sanctions on former pariah state Myanmar
President Barack Obama and Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi shake hands at the conclusion of a meeting in the Oval Office on Sept. 14. (Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

President Barack Obama is lifting U.S. economic sanctions on the former pariah state of Myanmar.

The White House says Obama signed an executive order lifting the sanctions on Friday. He had announced plans to do so last month, when Myanmar's new civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, visited the Oval Office.

Obama's move marks the culmination of years of rapprochement between the U.S. and Myanmar that Obama has worked to facilitate. The Southeast Asian nation, also called Burma, has pursued political reforms over the last five years following decades of oppressive military rule.

The U.S. has already eased broad economic sanctions on Myanmar, including prohibitions on investment and trade. But the U.S. had retained more targeted restrictions on military-owned companies and officials and associates of the former ruling junta.

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