The United States has formally extended sanctions against Burma's military government for another year.

President Barack Obama informed Congress of the decision Friday, saying Burma poses a continuing threat to U.S. national security and foreign policy.

He added that Burma's actions and policies are hostile to U.S. interests.

The existing sanctions on Burma must be renewed annually.  They were set to expire next week.

Despite the sanctions, President Obama has been making an effort to engage the isolated country.

Earlier this week, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell visited Burma for a two-day trip, during which he met with leaders of the military junta and detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.   

The United States has strongly criticized Burma for upcoming election plans that effectively exclude Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.