Bush to announce further Myanmar sanctions

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WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) US President George W Bush will announce further sanctions against Myanmar's military rulers on Friday and will call on India and China to do more to pressure the country to end its repression of pro-democracy protesters, the White House said.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said Bush had threatened possible additional sanctions ''if the Burmese regime did not end its repression'' when he announced strengthened measures last month.

''Unfortunately the Burmese regime did not respond,'' he told reporters, saying Bush would make a public statement at 2320 IST.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush would ask Myanmar's neighbors to help.

''He will call on, in his statement, China and India to do more,'' Perino said. ''And so this is all headed toward pressuring the regime to try to make a difference.'' China is the closest the isolated Myanmar junta has to an ally, acting as a key trading partner and arms supplier, and is seen as the linchpin for any international pressure campaign.

India also has some economic clout with its Asian neighbor.

Fratto said the Treasury Department, responsible for implementing US sanctions against Myanmar, would also have an announcement about the new steps being taken in response to the crackdown on protests against 45 years of military rule.

But he declined to give details.

Washington imposed a new set of sanctions last month on senior Myanmar military officials, toughening US measures that had been in place for years but had forced little change.

Earlier this month, pro-democracy protests in Myanmar, formerly Burma, were crushed by the Asian nation's military leaders. Many protesters were arrested, and some killed, and police have since raided homes and made further detentions.

Bush on Monday expressed impatience with the international response to the Myanmar crackdown and called for ''enormous international pressure to make it clear to the generals that they will be completely isolated and not accepted into the international community of nations.'' REUTERS RSA RN2312

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