Yangon: British Prime Minister David Cameron
is due in Myanmar this week on the first visit by a top
Western leader since decades of military rule ended last year,
government officials said Monday.
Cameron will meet President Thein Sein in the capital
Naypyidaw on Friday and hold talks with opposition leader Aung
San Suu Kyi in Yangon the same day, a Myanmar government
official who did not want to be named said.
"His visit will be a day trip," he said.
A second official confirmed the plan but said the
schedule was still being finalised. An aide to Suu Kyi also
said that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was expected to
meet Cameron on Friday in Yangon.
Suu Kyi, who spent 15 of the past 22 years locked up by
the former junta, won a seat in parliament for the first time
in April 1 by-elections that were largely praised by the West
as a step towards democracy.
Her National League for Democracy (NLD) party secured 43
of the 44 seats it contested, becoming the main opposition
force in a national parliament dominated by the military and
its political allies.
She will take her seat in the lower house for the first
time on April 23, her party said today.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague last week hailed
the 66-year-old's election to political office as a "historic
result" for the people of Myanmar, while urging Thein Sein to
stay on the reform track.
Myanmar's quasi-civilian government has announced a
surprising series of reforms over the past year, such as
releasing hundreds of political prisoners and welcoming the
opposition back into mainstream politics.
Cameron would be the first Western head of government to
visit since the junta handed power to a new nominally civilian
regime last year following a controversial 2010 election won
by the military's political proxies.
First Published: Monday, April 09, 2012, 19:51