The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) welcomes the EU announcement of its suspension of sanctions on Myanmar.

“All ASEAN member states welcome the suspension of sanctions on Myanmar. We called for this soon after the country’s general elections in 2010, and we reiterated our call immediately after the by-elections in early April,” ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan said on April 25.

The ASEAN chief’s announcement was made after the 27 foreign ministers of the EU on April 23 agreed to suspend “restrictive measures imposed on the government, with the exception of the arms embargo, which will remain”.

"It is the right thing to do at the right time," said Surin.

He said he hopes that a long period of strained relations between ASEAN and the EU will be put behind both sides.

"The ASEAN-EU Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brunei at the end of April will see a new productive relationship being put on a higher plane for cooperation," Surin affirmed./.