Through the US State Department head Antony Blinken, QUAD nations (USA, Japan, Australia and India) have vowed on Thursday February 18 to an “urgent” return to democracy.
The call gathered Blinken, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. They all called for democracy to be restored quickly in Myanmar.
They emphasized “the urgent need to restore the democratically elected government in Burma, and the priority of strengthening democratic resilience in the broader region,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. India was more cautious on its statement calling for “(the) upholding of rule of law and democratic transition.”
If the US has already taken sanctions against some generals and three military-affiliated companies last week, Thursday was the turn of Britain and Canada.
Britain said it would review its aid that may indirectly be supporting the military-led government, as well as target three members of the Myanmar military with immediate asset freezes and travel bans: Minister of Defense Mya Tun Oo, Minister for Home Affairs Soe Htut and Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Than Hlaing.
Canada followed suit through the voice of its Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, announcing similar sanctions on nine Myanmar military officials. “We work alongside our international partners who call for the restoration of the democratically-elected government, and we echo their calls for the Myanmar military to release those who have been unjustly detained in the military takeover” said the statement.
In Europe, the EU member-states offered to support dialogue “with all key stakeholders who wish to resolve the situation in good faith.”
In the meantime, it also stands ready to take fresh punitive measures. They will be meeting on Monday February 22nd and already stated that “in response to the military coup, the European Union stands ready to adopt restrictive measures targeting those directly responsible.” “The Council invites the High Representative and The European Commission to develop appropriate proposals in this regard” said draft conclusions reported by the EUObserver.