US says Kerry broke no sanctions on Myanmar hotel
Published on Aug 13, 2014 5:24 AM
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States said Tuesday that Secretary of State John Kerry technically abided his own government's laws after he stayed in Myanmar at a hotel owned by a sanctioned tycoon.
Myanmar, the host of talks this week among South-east Asian foreign ministers in its showcase capital Naypyidaw, put up Mr Kerry and his entourage at the Lake Garden Hotel, which is owned by tycoon Zaw Zaw's Max Myanmar Group.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that Mr Kerry was assigned the hotel by Myanmar's foreign ministry and that, while Zaw Zaw himself was blacklisted, US law does not prohibit Americans from staying at accommodation owned by sanctioned companies.
"You can stay at this hotel no matter who you are, you just can't do business with it. So if you wanted to sell them towels, you could not do that. But you could stay there," Ms Harf explained.
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