Aung San Suu Kyi Optimistic Clinton Visit will Advance Burma Reforms

Posted November 30th, 2011 at 5:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Burma's pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, says she is optimistic that a landmark visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will advance reforms in the country.

Speaking via video conference from Burma Wednesday, Aung San Suu Kyi told a Washington research institution she supports the United States' efforts to engage more with the Burmese government.

Aung San Suu Kyi says, however, that she has not changed her mind on economic and political sanctions placed on the country.

Aung San Suu Kyi says she plans to run in upcoming by-elections for the country's new Senate. Aung San Suu Kyi's National Democratic Party boycotted elections last year because of a law that prevented her from competing. The government recently repealed that law.

Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD party won a landslide victory in Burma's 1990 general election. However, she was under house arrest by the time the elections took place. Burma's then-military government ignored the election results and placed her under a lengthy house arrest. She has spent 15 of the past 22 years in some form of detention.

Aung San Suu Kyi will meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday in the main commercial city of Rangoon.