Friday, January 11, 2008

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi meets with junta

The Associated Press
Published: January 11, 2008

YANGON, Myanmar: Detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with a representative of the ruling junta Friday for the first time in nearly two months, a government official said.

Following the brutal suppression of anti-regime demonstrations last fall, Western nations and the United Nations have pressed the military to open a sustained dialogue with Suu Kyi to bring about democratic reforms.

An official, who requested anonymity since he was not authorized to speak to the press, said the government-appointed liaison official, Aung Kyi, met with Suu Kyi for about an hour. It was their fourth meeting, and the first since Nov. 19.

No details of the meeting were immediately available.

On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department's No. 3 official, Nicholas Burns, urged the junta to begin talks with opposition leaders and release political prisoners.

Burns wrote in The Washington Post that the leaders in Myanmar, also known as Burma, and their "policies are the greatest threat to Burma's unity, stability and prosperity."

The United States supports U.N. efforts to start a national dialogue in Myanmar, Burns wrote.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, has been under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years.

The military has ruled Myanmar since 1962.


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