The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
Message -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Burma
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to Burma that was declared on May 20, 1997, is to continue in effect beyond May 20, 2012.
The Burmese government has made progress in a number of areas including releasing hundreds of political prisoners, pursuing cease fire talks with several armed ethnic groups, and pursuing a substantive dialogue with Burma's leading pro democracy opposition party. The United States is committed to supporting Burma's reform effort, but the situation in Burma continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Burma has made important strides, but the political opening is nascent, and we continue to have concerns, including remaining political prisoners, ongoing conflict, and serious human rights abuses in ethnic areas. For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to Burma and to maintain in force the sanctions that respond to this threat.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
May 17, 2012.