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Switzerland slaps sanctions on Myanmar and Taliban

The Swiss government is to impose sanctions against the ruling Taliban movement in Afghanistan as well as the military junta in Myanmar.

The measures, announced by the foreign ministry on Monday, bring Swiss policy into line with that of the European Union and the United Nations.

They include financial sanctions, as well as a visa ban on the two countries' rulers. Arms exports will also be prohibited.

The government took the decision even though Switzerland is not a member of the UN or the EU.

The UN placed sanctions on Afghanistan a year ago because its ruling Taliban movement refused to extradite the businessman, Osama bin Laden. He is suspected of masterminding attacks in 1998 against the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

The Swiss government also decided to take punitive measures against Myanmar in protest at its record of human rights abuses. Under the embargo, the foreign ministry is also freezing development aid projects in Myanmar.

The foreign ministry said Switzerland had criticised the regime in Yangon for several years over its policies of forced labour and disregard for human rights.

swissinfo with agencies

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