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Clinton and Suu Kyi agree agenda

Hillary Clinton and Aung San Suu Kyi, two of the world's most recognised women leaders, have pledged to work together to bring democracy to Burma.

After meeting the US Secretary of State for the second time in two days, Ms Suu Kyi said: "If we move forward together I am confident there will be no turning back on the road to democracy." But she added: "We are not on that road yet."

Saying she very much appreciated US engagement with the government of Burma, Ms Suu Kyi called for the release of all political prisoners and the end to ethnic hostilities.

Mrs Clinton thanked Ms Suu Kyi for "steadfast and very clear leadership" and said the US wanted to work both with the pro-democracy activist as well as the government to improve conditions in Burma.

"You have been an inspiration but I know that you feel you are standing for all the people of your country who deserve the same rights and freedoms as people everywhere," Mrs Clinton told Ms Suu Kyi.

"The people have been courageous and strong in the face of great difficulty over too many years. We want to see this country take its rightful place in the world."

Ms Suu Kyi has welcomed Mrs Clinton's visit and tentatively embraced reforms enacted by Burma's new civilian government.

She thanked her and President Barack Obama for their "careful and calibrated" engagement that has seen the US take some modest steps to improve ties.

"We are happy with the way in which the United States is engaging with us," she said.

"It is through engagement that we hope to promote the process of democratisation. Because of this engagement, I think our way ahead will be clearer and we will be able to trust that the process of democratisation will go forward."


From Belfast Telegraph