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US Extends Sanctions on Burma Into 2008

President Bush says he is renewing sanctions on Burma for at least another year, and at the same time calling again for the immediate release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in the southeast Asian nation.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said in a statement on Thursday that Burma's ruling junta is becoming more brutal, more repressive and more indifferent to the concerns of its neighbors and the international community.

The United States is urging all nations -- especially Burma's neighbors -- to condemn the country's unwillingness to move forward on its promises to return to democratic rule.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has spent most of the past 17 years under house arrest.

Authorities in Rangoon recently rounded up and arrested about 50 activists seeking her release.

A council of generals seized power in Burma 45 years ago and has ruled the country since then. Civilian rule was to have been restored in 1990, but the military refused to recognize an overwhelming election vistory by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, and prevented the NLD from taking office.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.