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President Bush Delivers Remarks on Burma Sanctions

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Friday, October 19, 2007; 2:36 PM

SPEAKER: PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH

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BUSH: Laura, thank you for joining, and, Madam Secretary.

In the last few weeks, the world has been inspired by the courage of the Burmese people. Ordinary men and women have taken to the streets in peaceful marches to demand their freedom and call for democratic change.

The world has also been horrified by the response of Burma's military junta. Months have been beaten and killed. Thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been arrested. And Burma's dictator, Than Shwe, continues to hold captive the leader of Burma's largest democratic party, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Burma's rulers continue to defy the world's just demands to stop their vicious persecution. They continue to dismiss calls to begin peaceful dialogue aimed at national reconciliation. Most of all, they continue to reject the clear will of the Burmese people to live in freedom under leaders of their own choosing.

Last month, the United States tightened economic sanctions on the leaders of Burma's regime and imposed an expanded visa ban on those responsible for the most egregious violations of human rights as well as their family members.

The Treasury Department designated 14 top leaders of the Burmese regime for sanctions, including Than Shwe and his deputy vice senior general, Maung Aye. And the State department added 260 names of Burmese officials and their family members to the visa ban list.

BUSH: In light of the ongoing atrocities by these men and their associates, the United States has today imposed additional sanctions. First, the Treasury Department has designated 11 more leaders of the Burmese junta for sanctions under existing authorities.

Second, I've issued a new executive order that designates an additional 12 individuals and entities for sanctions.

This executive order grants the Treasury Department expanded authority to designate for sanctions individuals responsible for human rights abuses, as well as public corruption, and those who provide material and financial backing to these individuals or to the government of Burma.

Third, I have instructed our Commerce Department to tighten its export control regulations for Burma.


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