Maas: Do not stand by and watch

The military has seized power in Myanmar. The EU now wants to exert pressure with sanctions.

Maas: Nicht tatenlos zuschauen

Brussels (dpa) - The military leadership in Myanmar is being threatened with new EU sanctions after its coup against the government. "We will use all diplomatic channels that still exist to work towards a de-escalation," said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Monday on the sidelines of consultations with EU colleagues in Brussels. He added at the same time, however, that sanctions against the military regime would be prepared in case this did not succeed.

The SPD politician said that the treatment of the demonstrators in Myanmar was "extremely worrying", explaining that Germany still condemns the coup by the military leadership and is no longer willing to stand by and watch the developments in the Southeast Asian country without taking action.

In a statement adopted by foreign ministers on Monday, the EU reiterated its call for "an immediate end to the state of emergency, the restoration of legitimate civilian rule and the opening of the newly elected parliament". The EU also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested in the coup, including President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.