Germany and Myanmar: Bilateral relations

05.10.2021 - Article

Until the late 1980s, substantial development assistance granted by the Federal Republic of Germany was a key element in its political relations with Burma (known as Myanmar since 1989). Following the military’s brutal suppression of demonstrations in 1988, this cooperation was largely halted.

With the launch of the process of democratic transition from 2011, bilateral relations with Myanmar became more vibrant but have however come under strain since 2017 due to the military’s brutal actions against the Muslim Rohingya population in Rakhine.

The Federal Government resolutely condemned the assumption of power by the Myanmar military on 1 February 2021 and is calling for an end to the violence, for the re-establishment of legitimised democratic institutions and for the immediate release of all those arrested since the coup. It calls upon the military to enter into dialogue with all sides to find a peaceful solution to the crisis it caused in the country and supports in particular the mediation efforts of the ASEAN countries. Within the framework of the European Union, sanctions have been imposed targeting the leaders of the military regime and the business conglomerates operated by the Myanmar military.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development which has lead responsibility in Germany decided as early as spring 2020 to end bilateral state development cooperation with Myanmar once ongoing projects have been concluded. After the military coup, the Federal Government halted all bilateral state development cooperation activities.

Additional content

A precious artefact from Myanmarhas, for the first time ever, been presented to the public as a 3D scan: the Golden Letter from King Alaungphaya of Burma to King George II of Great Britain. The project was financed from the Cultural Preservation Programme of the Federal Foreign Office.


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