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Updated: August 19, 2011 18:55 IST

Suu Kyi meets Myanmar’s President

AP
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A file photo of Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
AP A file photo of Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar’s government invited pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to a meeting on Friday with the new President, an official said, in the clearest step toward a political dialogue since she was released from house arrest in November.

Details of Ms. Suu Kyi’s first meeting with President Thein Sein, including how long they met and what they discussed, were not immediately available, the official said, but added that the meeting was “significant.” He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak with journalists.

The 66-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate has repeatedly called for political dialogue with the government since her release from seven years of house arrest. She made her first trip to the administrative capital Naypyitaw on Friday and later went into the meeting with Mr. Thein Sein, the official said.

Mr. Thein Sein took power in March after an election that critics dismissed as a sham to create a nominally civilian government while entrenching the country’s military rulers. However, the new government has become more open about meeting with dissidents, and has introduced economic reforms.

Mr. Thein Sein on Wednesday also had invited Ms. Suu Kyi to attend a national economic development forum that started today in Naypyitaw. Ms. Suu Kyi did not attend the forum.

In another conciliatory gesture, the government on Wednesday invited armed ethnic groups to hold peace talks.

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