04/12/2012 06:55 EDT | Updated 06/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Burma Sanctions Under Review, Baird Says


Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird suggested the government may lift sanctions against Burma because of reforms being made in the country.

"We're prepared to review everything in terms of our Burma policy," Baird told host Evan Solomon on CBC's Power & Politics. "We're prepared to look at the sanctions, we're prepared to look at a whole host of other reforms."

Baird said officials are still waiting for a signal from Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi about her views. Suu Kyi has credited Canada's tough sanctions against Burma, also known as Myanmar, for helping to spur reforms.

"I think just about all of us around the table at the G8 meeting are reviewing our policies, looking at what we can do to change them, to suspend them," Baird said.

"Obviously we're all incredibly pleased with the changes we've seen over the past year," Baird said, adding that there's more work to be done.

Baird's comments come as Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy, took 43 of 45 parliamentary seats in recent byelections in Burma.

Last month, Baird made a landmark visit to the country, which was ruled by a military junta for nearly half a century. Suu Kyi spent most of the last two decades under house arrest.

The military junta stepped down last year and a new, military-backed civilian government, dominated by a clique of retired army officers, embarked on a series of democratic reforms.