Myanmar's Suu Kyi to address British Parliament

Associated Press
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives for a meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, Thursday, June 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, Pool)
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LONDON (AP) — Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will address lawmakers from both houses of the British Parliament Thursday, becoming one of the few non-heads of state to be given the honor.

Suu Kyi follows dignitaries including South African President Nelson Mandela, Pope Benedict XVI and U.S. President Barack Obama in giving a speech in Parliament's medieval Westminster Hall.

She also met with Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, and Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday.

At a joint press conference at Number 10 Downing Street, Cameron said he had invited Myanmar President Thein Stein to visit Britain later this year. The invitation is seen as recognition of serious reform efforts in Myanmar. Cameron visited Myanmar in April.

The prime minister said Britain wants to work with the governing regime in Myanmar and said the regime also wants reform.

"I do believe the president is sincere in wanting reform," he said.

Suu Kyi expressed support for the invitation. "We don't want to be shackled by the past," she said.

Cameron also said the British government plans to open an office in Myanmar and to encourage business investment there.

Suu Kyi, who spent many years under house arrest in Myanmar, is making her first overseas trip in 24 years. She has visited Switzerland, Norway and Ireland and is spending a week in Britain, where she studied and lived for many years.

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