With Suu Kyi, Hillary Clinton the star becomes fan

On a landmark visit to Myanmar, Hillary Clinton spent hours getting to know the Nobel Peace Prize-winning democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Last Updated: Dec 02, 2011, 18:09 PM IST

Yangon: For years, Hillary Clinton has hobnobbed with the world`s powerful and been welcomed as a virtual rock star. But on Friday, she was the one who was star-struck as she met a personal hero, Aung San Suu Kyi.
On a landmark visit to Myanmar, Hillary Clinton spent hours getting to know the Nobel Peace Prize-winning democracy icon,
hugging her and kissing her on the cheeks in a meeting between
two of the world`s top women leaders.

With a gentle breeze softening the tropical heat, Suu Kyi escorted Hillary Clinton through the garden of her lakefront villa that served as her prison for most of the past two decades, walking reflectively around dozens of potted plants.

Hillary Clinton, who is almost always surrounded by aides on
foreign trips, met for a three-hour one-on-one dinner yesterday with Suu Kyi at the US mission where the chef was asked to prepare local dishes which the opposition leader enjoys.

Strikingly, the two women even dressed alike. At their dinner, Suu Kyi and Clinton both wore white tunics and tied back their hair, in what aides to the top US diplomat insisted was coincidence.

Hillary Clinton today wore a silver beaded necklace which Suu Kyi
had designed herself and presented to her the night before.

Hillary Clinton even offered Suu Kyi a chewy toy for her small but
energetic dog. But on that front, Clinton was warned that she
might be eliciting jealousy.

"Stay away from the dog," Suu Kyi said in a deadpan voice as Hillary Clinton said hello to the pet. "He treats people who are close to me as a threat."

Hillary Clinton -- whose husband, the former US president Bill
Clinton, studied at Oxford University at the same time as Suu
Kyi -- said she had waited a long time to meet the democracy
icon and that Americans "admire her deeply."

"We have been inspired by her fearlessness in the face of intimidation -- her serenity through decades of isolation --
but most of all her devotion to her country and to the freedom
and dignity of her fellow citizens," Clinton said after the
meeting.

Hillary Clinton, who narrowly lost her bid to be the first female
US president, said she offered advice to Suu Kyi, who at 66 is
only two years her senior, about her plans to run for Parliament as part of Myanmar`s transition to democracy.

PTI