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Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi Reaches Out to Military Leaders

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi Reaches Out to Military Leaders

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi Reaches Out to Military Leaders

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Burma's detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has written a letter to the country's military leader, General Than Shwe, saying she is prepared to work with the military government to get international sanctions lifted.

Her spokesman and lawyer, Nyan Win, told VOA the letter will be delivered within days.

Aung San Suu Kyi has mentioned her willingness to help with lifting sanctions since 2007, but her direct offer to Burma's military rulers comes after the United States announced a policy shift towards the military-run government.

Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyer says she welcomes U.S. plans to engage diplomatically with the military rulers to promote democratic reform. But she says U.S. officials must also speak with the opposition.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of the Obama administration's new approach with Burma's military rulers on Wednesday.

Clinton said the U.S. government will still use sanctions against Burma to try to influence its government. But she said sanctions alone have not produced the results the United States wants.

Rights activists say dialogue with Burma's military leaders will only be effective if the United States stays firm on its demands for democratic change.

Burma has been under military rule since 1962. Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the opposition National League for Democracy, won the last elections in 1990, but the military government refused to recognize the results and cede power to civilian authorities.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been in some form of detention for 14 of the past 20 years.