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US extends targeted sanctions on Myanmar

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US extends targeted sanctions on Myanmar
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Washington: The Obama administration extended by one year targeted US sanctions against Myanmar, a move aimed at preventing backsliding on democratic reforms.

But to sweeten the pill, the administration on Thursday also eased some of the US visa restrictions imposed against Myanmar's former military regime in recognition of the nation's dramatic shift from authoritarian rule.

The actions come as expectation mounts that Myanmar's reformist President Thein Sein will visit the White House this month.

It would be the first such visit by a Myanmar leader since 1966.

President Barack Obama visited the country also known as Burma in November.

The administration has yet to announce a visit by Myanmar's leader, which could stir controversy because of an explosion of communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims in western Rakhine state in recent months that has spread to central Myanmar and left hundreds dead and more than 100,000 displaced.

Most of the victims have been minority Muslims.

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