Suu Kyi welcomes US policy change

Sept 25, 2009 (DVB), Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has welcomed a revision of US policy to Burma that will see Washington step up engagement with the ruling junta, her lawyer said yesterday.

Lawyer Nyan Win quoted Suu Kyi as saying that she had no objections to the announcement that the US will push for greater dialogue with Naypyidaw, despite maintaining sanctions.

Results of the policy review were announced on Wednesday by US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who was speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

"Daw Suu said that the idea for engagement is good and that she would not argue on that. She said that engagement may bring a good outcome," Nyan Win said.

A statement is due to be released by her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, following discussions on the new policy.

Suu Kyi, who was sentenced in August to 18 months under house arrest, met with her lawyers at her compound yesterday, primarily to discuss her sentence appeal.

Nyan Win said that a letter was being drafted by the defence team that questions the eight conditions of her house arrest, said to be stricter than conditions set in previous years. Suu Kyi is due to approve it today, before it is sent to the court.

The lawyers reportedly brought Suu Kyi a batch of Newsweek magazines and the biography of US president Barrack Obama.

Her house arrest conditions stipulate that only visitors given permission by the Burmese government may enter her compound, and she is forbidden from accessing media not authorised by the state.

The US had previously followed a tough line of sanctions and isolation on the Burmese regime, which received support from the NLD and other opposition groups.

Clinton acknowledged in February however that sanctions had failed to pressure the junta into change and that a policy review would be undertaken.

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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