Peace in Myanmar must precede further investment, EU ambassador says

Roland Kobia, EU Ambassador to Myanmar, gives a speech to mark  Europe Day 2015 at a press lunch in Yangon on Thursday.
Roland Kobia, EU Ambassador to Myanmar, gives a speech to mark Europe Day 2015 at a press lunch in Yangon on Thursday.

The European Union wants to help Myanmar end conflicts and achieve peace as its first priority, EU Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Roland Kobia said Thursday at a press lunch in Yangon to mark Europe Day 2015.
Europe Day highlights the principles of democracy and freedom which the EU wishes to share with Myanmar, Mr Kobia said.
The EU is one of the major foreign donors to Myanmar, providing a US $1.1 billion grant for the period of 2014-2020 to implement development projects in the country.
“The great majority of the money will go to education and rural development,” the EU ambassador said.
“The reason why we want to work on the peace process is because the EU is a (peace) promoter.
“We want to help Myanmar in achieving peace.”He said spending money on other areas is a waste until peace is achieved.
“If you don’t have peace, if you have conflict and if you have war, all this money will be wasted because war is not a conducive environment to develop the country or to develop democracy,” he said.
At the press lunch, the ambassador said the EU is going to help prepare for the Myanmar’s upcoming elections in cooperation with other international organizations.
The European Union comprises 500 million people from 28 countries. In a vote of support for Myanmar’s reform steps, the EU lifted sanctions and opened an office in the country in 2012.
In 2013, a full-fledged delegation in Yangon was established with the arrival of its ambassador to Myanmar, with the country also regaining access to the EU’s generalized system of preferences.

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