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Burma: Mining

Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government is taking to ensure that gems originally mined in Burma and processed in third countries will not be sold in the UK. (167153)

The UK played a key role securing EU agreement at the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) on 15 October to extend sanctions against Burma. These measures were formally adopted at the GAERC on 19 November, including the prohibition of the import of timber, metals, minerals and precious and semi-precious stones from Burma, and an investment ban in these sectors. The October GAERC made clear the EU stood ready to review, amend or reinforce these measures and requested relevant bodies to elaborate further restrictive measures.

The regulation which will follow the adoption of the Common Position will address a number of points related to the implementation of the sanctions, including direct and indirect sales of precious and semi-precious stones from Burma. This will be negotiated in the coming weeks. The UK will press for the strictest possible implementation of the agreed sanctions.