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Senators press US on Myanmar petroleum investment

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senators from both parties are pressing the U.S. government to allow investment by American oil and gas companies as it moves to suspend economic sanctions against Myanmar.

Democrat Jim Webb and Republican James Inhofe made the appeal at a confirmation hearing Wednesday for the first U.S. ambassador to the military-dominated country in 22 years.

The Obama administration announced last month its plan to ease the sanctions to reward the military-dominated government for democratic reforms. The ambassador nominee, Derek Mitchell, said the administration is still deliberating the details of a general license that would facilitate U.S. investment.

He said no sectors of Myanmar’s economy would be excluded, but voiced concerns about transparency and corruption in a Myanmar state enterprise that the petroleum industry would likely need to partner with.

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