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Burmese Democracy Icon Meets Diplomats after Trial

Detained Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi greeted diplomats and journalists who were allowed into the courtroom Wednesday on the third day of her trial.

The Nobel Peace laureate thanked the envoys for attending the proceedings at Insein prison outside Rangoon, and said she hoped to meet them in better days.

The leader of the National League for Democracy party is charged with breaking the terms of her house arrest after an American man swam to her lakeside home earlier this month.

If convicted, Aung San Suu Kyi faces up to five years in prison. Her two female live-in assistants and the American who swam to her home are also on trial.

After the proceedings, she met privately with envoys from Russia, Singapore and Thailand.

Singapore's ambassador to Burma, Robert Chua, quoted Aung San Suu Kyi as saying she is being treated well. He also quoted her as saying there could be many opportunities for national reconciliation in Burma if all parties so wished.

The Burmese democracy leader also said she did not want to use the intrusion into her home as a way to "get at" the authorities.

The Russian envoy, Mikhail Mgeladze, told VOA the meeting took about 20 minutes, but declined to comment on what was said.

However, he praised Burma's government for what he described as "transparency" in reporting on the trial. He also said Burma's elections scheduled for next year are a sign the country is "going towards democracy."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a U.S. congressional panel, the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on State and Foreign Affairs, Wednesday that the U.S. rejects the Burmese government's "baseless charges" against Aung San Suu Kyi.

Clinton said if Burma's military leaders stay on their current track, the 2010 election will be "totally illegitimate."

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Director-General Koichiro Matsuura called for Aung San Suu Kyi's immediate and unconditional release in a letter to Burma's top leader, General Than Shwe. Matsuura said the opposition leader plays an important role in Burma's reconciliation process.

The international community has condemned the Burmese government over Aung San Suu Kyi's arrest and trial, calling it an excuse to extend her house arrest, which expires later this month. She has been under detention for 13 of the last 19 years.