Germany and Myanmar: Bilateral relations

30.10.2023 - Article

The Federal Republic of Germany’s substantial development assistance, which was a key element in its relations with Myanmar (known as Burma until 1989), was mostly terminated following the military’s bloody suppression of demonstrations in 1988.

After the democratic transition process began in 2011, bilateral relations with Myanmar saw a marked revival, but they have been strained since 2017 due to the military’s brutal actions against the Muslim Rohingya population in Rakhine.

The German Government resolutely condemned the seizing of power by Myanmar’s military on 1 February 2021 and calls for an end to the violence, for the re‑establishment of democratically legitimised institutions and for the immediate release of all political prisoners. It calls upon the military to enter into dialogue with all sides in order to find a peaceful solution to the crisis it has caused in the country, and supports in particular the mediation efforts of the ASEAN countries as well as the United Nations and their respective special envoys. At European Union level, several rounds of sanctions have been imposed, some of which are aimed at leaders of the regime and at the business conglomerates operated by Myanmar’s military.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development decided in the spring of 2020 to end bilateral state development cooperation with Myanmar once ongoing projects have been concluded, in light of the forced displacement of the Rohingya. With the country facing increasingly severe hardship since the military coup as well as a general downturn (18 million of its 54 million inhabitants live below the poverty line, according to the United Nations), the German Government is providing humanitarian assistance and supporting selected projects in fields including human rights, culture and stabilisation.


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