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Wed, 13 Aug 2014 00:04:20 +0000
(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that there was nothing illegal about the decision for Secretary of State John Kerry to stay in a hotel owned by an individual who has been blacklisted by U.S. sanctions.
According to State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, the decision to stay in the hotel abided by both the letter and the spirit of U.S. law, as the hotel itself was not subject to sanctions, even if its owner and the holding company he runs are. "If we wanted to sanction the hotel," Harf said, "we could have done that too."
During a recent trip to Myanmar for the ASEAN Ministerial Forum, attended by Kerry, the U.S. delegation stayed at the Lake Garden Hotel. That hotel is owned by Max Myanmar Holdings, a company on the U.S. Treasury Department's sanctions list. The owner of Max Myanmar Holdings, Zaw Zaw, is also blacklisted individually for links to the country's former military regime.
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