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Myanmar's Suu Kyi begins landmark US visit

Press Trust of India
Sep 18, 2012 at 01:10pm IST

Washington: Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has arrived here on her first visit to the US, after being released from house arrest in 2010, during which she will meet President Barack Obama and be honoured with Congress' highest award for her human rights work.

The 17-day visit will be her first to the country since she began her fight for democracy in Myanmar in 1988.

During her visit, the Nobel Peace laureate will be presented with the Congressional Gold Medal. The visit comes as the Obama administration considers easing remaining sanctions on Myanmar.

Myanmar's Suu Kyi begins landmark US visit

The 17-day visit will be her first to the country since she began her fight for democracy in Myanmar in 1988.

Suu Kyi, 67, is scheduled to meet top American leaders including, the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in Washington tomorrow and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York later in the week.

"She's been a very strong voice for continued ties between our country for education, for reform, all those kinds of things. The Secretary (of State) takes counsel with her whenever she can, and I think they'll have another opportunity for that tomorrow," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news conference.

"The changes and reform steps that we've seen in Burma (Myanmar) in the last year are qualitatively and quantitatively broader and deeper than we had seen at any time before, with the allowing of Suu Kyi's party to run, with release of prisoners, with the outreach to all of the minority groups," she said.

During the Washington-leg of her trip Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to meet a host of US lawmakers, who are also hoisting a private reception of her in addition to presenting her with the Congressional Gold Medal award on Wednesday.

Suu Kyi was elected to the Mayanmar's parliament earlier this year. The US tour follows her visit to Europe earlier this year when she received the Nobel peace prize some 21 years after it was awarded to her.

She lived in New York between 1969 and 1971.

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