EU to review defence cooperation with Myanmar

The European Union will review all practical defence cooperation with the Myanmar army and suspend invitations to senior Myanmar military officers if the situation in Rakhine state does not improve, The Irrawaddy News Online reported on Tuesday(Oct 18).

The EU statement, adopted by the EU Council and released on Monday, highlights current EU restrictive measures, including an embargo on arms and equipment that can be used for internal repression in Myanmar.

The statement adds that EU may consider additional measures if the situation in Rakhine state does not improve, but also stands ready to respond accordingly to positive developments.

The European Council’s threat follows the footstep of the British government which, last month, suspended its training programme with the Myanmar army.

The EU Council called on the Myanmar army to end its operations in Rakhine state and to ensure the protection of all civilians without discrimination.

The council also added that the EU would continue to help the Myanmar government to address the challenges of its democratic transition.

The council urged the government to cooperate with the Human Rights Council’s independent international Fact-finding Mission and to allow it full access to the country without delay.