Talks between Burma’s labour minister and Aung San Suu Kyi today were constructive, and more have been lined up for the near future, both sides have said.
Aung Kyi, who as the chief liaison between the former junta and the opposition leader met with Suu Kyi nine times, said that “[w]e can say this is the first step towards cooperation and with regards to future work”.
The meeting at a government guesthouse in Rangoon lasted for just over an hour. Despite multiple talks prior to today, Aung Kyi acknowledged that to date no meeting had ended with “tangible results”.
Details of what was discussed have been kept vague, although both sides are believed to have talked about rule of law in Burma, where corruption and political oppression are rife.
Suu Kyi was coy about the outcome, telling reporters only that “[w]hatever we do or whoever we talk with, our main hope is for the benefit of the country and the people”.
The Nobel laureate was released from house arrest in November last year. Since then she has frequently urged dialogue with the government, but until now the country’s rulers had not met her requests.
Her party, the National League for Democracy, has been fighting a difficult battle to have it reinstated following the government’s decision to dissolve it last year, citing its refusal to compete in the polls.
Government-run media has given veiled warnings that Suu Kyi and party colleagues could face punishment if they continue wih their political work.