Myanmar needs help, Suu Kyi says

June 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM
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LONDON, June 21 (UPI) -- Myanmar isn't yet on par with the world's leading democracies but it can achieve that goal with international support, Aung Suu Kyi said Thursday.

Suu Kyi on Thursday addressed both houses of the British Parliament. Her visit this week to Britain is part of her first foreign tour since being released from house arrest in 2010.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was elected to the Parliament in Myanmar this year as the country embarked on a series of political reforms that followed general elections in 2010.

She told British lawmakers she was in London to ask for help with the political transformation under way in her country.

"Our own determination can get us so far. The support of the people of Britain and of peoples around the world can get us so much further," she was quoted by the BBC as saying. "My country has not yet entered the ranks of truly democratic societies but I am confident we will get there before too long with your help."

Several countries have eased sanctions on Myanmar, adding that while reforms were welcome, the country still had a long way to go to meet international expectations.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, after meeting with the opposition leader, said there are many challenges facing Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

"We discussed the U.K.'s support for the reform process and desire to help the people of Burma achieve economic development, entrench the rule of law, build democratic institutions and end ethnic conflict," he said in a statement.

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