Bush Tightens Sanctions on Burma

Urges China, India to respond to junta's 'vicious persecution'
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2007 7:14 PM CDT
President Bush, center, flanked by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, left, and first lady Laura Bush, makes a statement on Burma Sanctions, Friday, Oct. 19, 2007, in the Diplomatic Room of the White...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – President Bush expanded sanctions against Burma today, citing the junta's ongoing "vicious persecution" of protesters. Acknowledging the limits of US influence, he called on India, China and other neighbors to put pressure on the military regime he accused of "ongoing atrocities," Reuters reports. The new sanctions include a freeze on US assets of  individuals and groups, and a ban on the sale of high-performance computers to Burma.

Bush called for the release of all political prisoners and for open talks between junta leaders and their democratic opposition under the auspices of the UN. He also demanded that Red Cross workers be granted access to political prisoners, and that the UN envoy be allowed to return. Neither India nor China, Burma's leading arms supplier, has gone beyond expressing concern over the situation.