News / Asia

Burma's Democracy Leader Encouraged by Meeting With President

Burma's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein pose for photos before their meeting at the presidential office in Naypyidaw, August 19, 2011
Burma's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein pose for photos before their meeting at the presidential office in Naypyidaw, August 19, 2011

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she is pleased with her first meeting with the country's new civilian president.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate told reporters Saturday that she was encouraged by her one-hour meeting Friday with President Thein Sein.  She gave no specifics on what they discussed.

Aung San Suu Kyi stayed in the administrative capital of Naypyidaw overnight and attended a government-sponsored economic development forum Saturday morning.  It was her first visit to the city, which was built during her last stint under house arrest.

State-run television showed video of the first meeting between the Nobel winner and Burma's first civilian president, describing the meeting as friendly.  The report said the two discussed the possibility of cooperation.

Separately, a government source told the Associated Press the meeting lasted almost one hour and described it as "significant."  The source spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A spokesman for Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party also spoke to the Associated Press.  Nyan Win said the meeting could be the "first step toward national reconciliation," but he declined to elaborate.  

In March, Burma's military government handed power to a new nominally civilian government led by former general Thein Sein, after nearly half a century of military rule.

Aung San Suu Kyi was released in November from seven years of detention shortly after national elections in which she and her National League for Democracy did not participate.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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