Image: Aung San Suu Kyi, Vijay Nambiar
Khin Maung Win  /  AP
Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, right, welcomes Vijay Nambiar, chief of staff for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at the her home Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010, in Yangon, Myanmar.
updated 11/27/2010 5:26:51 AM ET 2010-11-27T10:26:51

Released Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi met Saturday with a senior U.N. official and said she hopes the talks will be the first of many with the world body to solve the country's problems.

Suu Kyi met for more than an hour with Vijay Nambiar, chief of staff for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his special envoy to the military-controlled country.

Nambiar also planned to meet with government leaders during his weekend visit to Myanmar.

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Suu Kyi told reporters in brief comments at her lakeside home that the talks were "very valuable."

"But one meeting is not enough. I hope this is the first of many meetings. I think we may need many and frequent meetings to sort out all the problems we are facing," she said.

Since her release Nov. 13 from more than seven years of continuous house arrest, Suu Kyi has been busy talking with diplomats, politicians and international agencies.

The 65-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate has made it clear she plans to pursue her goal of a democratic Myanmar but has been careful not to verbally challenge the ruling junta.

Both sides
Nambiar planned to hold talks with the foreign minister and secretary-general of the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, according to diplomatic sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing protocol.

Suu Kyi "believes that the visit could be conducive to Myanmar's political development," her spokesman, Nyan Win, said before the meeting. "Although the United Nations has its limitations in implementing its tasks, we respect the role of the U.N."

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This is Nambiar's first visit to Myanmar since he took over the position of special envoy from Ibrahim Gambari, who last visited Myanmar in June 2009.

A long line of U.N. officials, including Ban, has attempted to broker talks between the opposing sides, but have failed to bring them together despite numerous claims of breakthroughs.

The ruling generals and Suu Kyi, their longtime archrival, have had no contact since she was freed. She has called for face-to-face reconciliation talks with junta leader Gen. Than Shwe.

Suu Kyi's political party overwhelmingly won elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take power. No elections were held until this month, when the pro-military party was victorious amid widespread claims the balloting was rigged.

The junta regards Suu Kyi and her nonviolent struggle for democracy as a threat to its power. She has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Suu Kyi wrestles with how to harness appeal

  1. Transcript of: Suu Kyi wrestles with how to harness appeal

    LESTER HOLT, anchor: Another story of freedom that has captured the world's attention tonight, the story of Aung San Suu Kyi . The pro-democracy leader was released from house arrest yesterday, triggering a wave of thousands of people to rush to her home, as you saw in this broadcast last night. It happened in Myanmar . Some still call it Burma . And the question there tonight is, what's next? Our report tonight from John Irvine of our British broadcasting partner, ITN .

    JOHN IRVINE reporting: Aung San Suu Kyi leaving home a free woman for the first time in seven years. Quickly word spread around Rangoon the lady was out and about heading to a political rally. If she was hoping for a low-key drive to party headquarters, well, it just hasn't worked out that way. She's managed to bring the center of Rangoon virtually to a standstill. When she finally made it to her party offices, there were thousands of well wishers. Her affinity with the masses appears to be undiminished. But how might she choose to harness her appeal? Interestingly, she told the crowd that she bore her jailers no ill will. Later, at a chaotic news conference, I asked her about future relations with Burma 's generals. How are you going to use your moral authority? Are you willing to compromise with Burma 's rulers, or will your opposition be totally?

    Mr. AUNG SAN SUU KYI: I certainly would not like to use whatever authority I have, moral or otherwise, to incite hatred. This is what we should not do. I am for national reconciliation.

    IRVINE: So far she has chosen her words carefully and has not openly criticized Burma 's regime. She says the generals have nothing to fear from her. But she's not what they're afraid of, it's her popularity.

Timeline: Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar, a mountainous republic in southeastern Asia, has been under military rule since 1962. Formerly known as Burma, the resource-rich former British colony has spent most of its post-independence history under authoritarian dictatorships.  Perhaps its most famous citizen is democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. Click on the dates below to find out more.

Sources: Reuters, The Associated Press, BBC,, Burma Watch International | Link |


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