Myanmar leader Thein Sein said in an interview that he would accept democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi as President if elected, but added he could not alone amend rules that bar her from power. Former general Thein Sein paid rare tributes to the Nobel laureate during a landmark tour of the U.S. where he burnished his reformist credentials by insisting his country will continue its strides towards democracy after decades of army rule.

The Myanmar leader told the BBC there were “no problems” between them. “If the people accept her, I will have to accept her. As I said before, we are now working together,” he said.

However, he insisted he could not act alone to remove the barriers impeding the democracy champion’s route to the presidency, as the country heads towards crucial 2015 elections.

The constitution prohibits those with close foreign relatives from holding high office and Ms. Suu Kyi, who married a British academic, has two sons living in the West.

A spokesman for Ms. Suu Kyi’s party said it “greatly welcome[s] what he said”. The NLD also wants the President to have legitimacy under the constitution. “If it’s the President’s real attitude, we have to amend some aspects of the constitution,” Ohn Kyaing told AFP. “We think he will accept if we want to make amendments.” — AFP