Embassy of France in Myanmar
The first visit to Burma by a French Foreign Minister (January 14-16, 2012) had made it possible to take an important step in the political dialogue between France and the Burmese authorities (cf. political relations). On this occasion the Minister had indicated that France was going to work with its partners in the European Union to lift, step by step, the sanctions depending on the progress observed. French policy towards Burma was indeed part of the restrictive framework of the common position defined by the Council of the European Union in October 1996 and renewed every year since then.
On April 22, 2013, the European Council lifted sanctions against Burma (with the exception of the arms embargo), which opened a new era for Euro-Burmese and Franco-Burmese cooperation.
This development has led France, which already conducts very active diplomacy alongside the Burmese population and its civil society, particularly in the fields of culture, health, education and humanitarian aid, to initiate new developments which resulted in January 2012 in the tripling of resources devoted to Burma. The French Development Agency (AFD), which now has an office within the embassy in Rangoon, was authorized to intervene in Burma in the spring of 2012. In March 2013 the two foreign ministers met in Paris and the Minister responsible for development paid an official visit to Burma.
In June 2012, France was one of the five European countries visited by Aung San Suu Kyi as part of his first major trip abroad since his liberation.
In July 2013, President Thein Sein made an official visit to France. Intervening 65 years after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, this historic visit - the first visit to France by a Burmese Head of State - enabled high-level meetings with the President of the Republic, François Hollande, and the former Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault.
Two weeks later, the visit to Burma of Mrs. Nicole Bricq, then Minister of Foreign Trade, was an opportunity to sign an agreement on the Burmese debt. Intergovernmental exchanges are now recurrent in both directions. Several intergovernmental agreements are in preparation. Aside from the arms embargo which remains in force, all of the areas making up the bilateral relationship between two countries are now the subject of cooperation projects or programs.See more