"The United States is now prepared to lift sanctions that have been imposed on Burma for quite some time. It is the right thing to do in order to ensure that people of Burma see rewards from a new way of doing business," Obama told reporters in the Oval Office in a joint media appearance with the visiting Burmese Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi.
"Soon," Obama said when asked when these sanctions would be lifted. Referring to the transition of Burma to elections, Obama said the new government is giving voice to the hopes and dreams to new generation of Burmese people.
As a consequence, the new government is in a position to begin shaking a remarkable social, political and economic transformation, he said.
Describing the progress made in Burma towards strengthening of democracy, Suu Kyi stressed on the need of lifting sanctions. "We think time has now come to remove all the sanctions that hurt us economically," she said, adding the Burmese parliament in the next few weeks would bring in new investment law.
This along with lifting of sanctions, Burma would be a very attractive destination for people from all over the world, she said.
"We think, the country is in a position to take off," she said. The Burmese Constitution, she asserted, is not entirely democratic, because it gives the military special powers.
"I want our military to be an honorable institution and capable of protecting and defending our rights... but we do not think, politics is a place for the military," she said, adding that her government would continue to work to make the Constitution truly democratic.
"We have reached at a point where people did not expect us to reach five years ago," she said. But there is so much that now has to be done, she added. She also referred to the steps taken by her government to look into communal strife in the country.
"We want to make sure that everyone who is entitled to citizenship is accorded citizenship as quickly and as fairly as possible," she said. "This is what we are trying to do in Rakhine (State)," she added.