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UN chief meets Aung San Suu Kyi for first time

Yangon, Tue, 01 May 2012 ANI

Yangon (Myanmar), May 1 (Xinhua-ANI): United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar's National League for Democrcy (NLD), for the first time at her lakeside residence here Tuesday, the last day of Ban's three-day offical visit to the country.

Ban hailed Suu Kyi's efforts to advance democracy in Myanmar, congratulating her for being elected as a parliamentarian and admiring her decision to prepare for parliament debut despite oath word issue.

He voiced UN's support of the process to improve democracy and human rights which might be difficult and be irreversible.

He invited Suu Kyi to visit UN headquarters in New York at appropriate time.

Ban arrived Myanmar on Sunday for the historic visit in light of significant changes taking place in the country.

While in Nay Pyi Taw Monday, Ban met with President U Thein Sein and speakers of the two Houses Thura U Shwe Mann and U Khin Aung Myint.

They discussed a wide range of issues relating to promotion of cooperation between the UN and Myanmar.

An agreement was signed between the UN and Myanmar on providing the latter with technical assistance and helping mobilize financial support for the country's first census since 1983.

Addressing the parliament in Nay Pyi Taw on the day, Ban urged the international community to go further in lifting, easing and suspending trade restrictions and other sanctions on Myanmar.

Before meeting with Suu Kyi, Ban had toured eastern Shan state and looked into the ongoing project of drug elimination implemented by the UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC).

It is Ban's third trip to Myanmar. His first tour was in 2008 when cyclone Nargis struck the country but Ban missed Suu Kyi in his second trip in 2009 for being denied to meet her as she was under house restriction and was faced with legal charge for " harboring" a U.S. citizen who sneaked into her lakeside residence for three days. (Xinhua-ANI)

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