Ban Encouraged By Myanmar Meeting

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NEW YORK, Aug. 23 (UPI) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said a recent meeting between Myanmar’s new president and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was a hopeful sign.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and pro-democracy leader in her country, met with President Thein Sein Friday for discussions on finding common ground on various issues.

Ban, in a statement issued by his spokesman, said he expected further steps toward sustained high-level dialogue for national reconciliation in Myanmar.

“Whether these and other recent developments will move Myanmar forward depends on how all parties choose to work with each other,” Ban said. “It is in the national interest that they seize the opportunity to extend and accept conciliatory gestures to achieve durable peace and unity.”

Ban repeated his call for the release of all political prisoners in Myanmar.

Suu Kyi, who spent much of the past 20 years in detention, was released after last November’s elections. Myanmar now has a civilan government, which is backed by the military junta that had controlled the country (formerly known as Burma), since 1962.

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