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Lawmakers say conditions worsening in Myanmar, urge tougher US policy


WASHINGTON — More than 70 U.S. lawmakers say conditions in Myanmar have taken a sharp turn for the worse and want Secretary of State John Kerry to warn its government that it could seriously damage bilateral relations.

The lawmakers are House Democrats and Republicans. They say sectarian violence has spread and that President Thein Sein's government seems to be catering to and stoking anti-Muslim sentiment.

They're also worried about military abuses in ethnic minority regions, the recent jailing of journalists, and the need for constitutional reform.

They're calling on Kerry to sanction those complicit in abuses and atrocities, and not make further concessions to the reformist government unless there's serious progress.

Kerry is expected to visit Myanmar this month for a regional security meeting.

The Associated Press obtained the letter Friday.

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