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UNOCAL says disappointed

Subject: Unocal says disappointed by US sanctions on Burma

    BANGKOK, April 22 (Reuter) - The chairman and chief
executive of U.S. oil company Unocal Corp said on Tuesday that
he was disappointed by a U.S. decision to impose economic
sanctions on Burma.
    Unocal is the largest American investor in Burma, helping to
make the United States the fourth largest foreign investor in
the country in terms of approved foreign investment.
    But Roger Beach told Reuters in an interview the sanctions
would not affect the U.S. company's direction toward investing
in southeast and central Asia.
    "If it's true, we are terribly disappointed because we feel
that engaging in other infrastructure projects for Myanmar
(Burma) at this time would be very beneficial to the development
of the economy of Myanmar," Beach said during a visit to
    Earlier on Tuesday a U.S. official said in Washington that
President Bill Clinton had approved imposing economic sanctions
against Burma due to human rights abuses by the country's
military government.
    The State Department was due to announce the sanctions,
which would involve banning new U.S. investment in Burma, later
on Tuesday, the official told Reuters.
    Several other major American companies have pulled out of
Burma following pressure by human rights organisations.
    Beach said Unocal did not want to make many comments about
the sanctions because the official announcement had not been
made and the company was not sure what sort of ban would be
called for by the sanctions.
    But he said the decision would not affect Unocal's new focus
on investment in Asia.
    "This will not change Unocal's strategic direction in
investing in southeast and central Asia," he said.
    "We firmly believe that Unocal can contribute as a partner
in this region to the betterment of the lives of the people in
the countries we work in, and at the same time create value for
our shareholders."
    In February, the State Department said it neither approved
nor disapproved of a new deal by Unocal to expand its petroleum
business in Burma. The deal extended its right to explore and
develop large offshore natural gas fields.
    President Bill CLinton in September signed into law a bill
authorising a ban on new investment by U.S. comapanies if "large
scale" repression of the democratic opposition worsened in the
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