Members of Parliament in Myanmar, known also as Burma, were sworn in Wednesday following last month's by-elections. Pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi took her seat along with other members of the National League for Democracy.
"Today's events are a further step toward a fully representative democracy in Burma," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement. "I look forward to the full participation of all elected members and a spirit of inclusive and constructive engagement by all parties on the path of reform."
Suu Kyi's NLDP was victorious in elections in the 1990s, though the ruling junta never recognized the results. She was released from a lengthy house arrest in 2010, weeks before Myanmar's first general election in years.
The U.S. and European governments have eased sanctions on Myanmar in response to democratic reforms. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her congratulations, saying sustained reforms were needed ahead of 2015 elections.
Hague noted, however, that there were several outstanding human rights issues left to be resolved in Myanmar.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]