From Geneva Suu Kyi calls for investment in Myanmar | News | DW | 14.06.2012
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From Geneva Suu Kyi calls for investment in Myanmar

Myanmar's leading opposition figure has thanked the international community for supporting political reforms in her country. Aung San Suu Kyi also used a speech in Geneva to call for foreign investment in Myanmar.

Myanmar's leading opposition politician was welcomed to a conference of the International Labor Organization in Geneva with a standing ovation on Thursday.

The event was the first in a busy schedule for Aung San Suu Kyi, who had arrived in Geneva late on Wednesday for her first trip to Europe in 24 years.

Suu Kyi used a speech to the conference to praise the efforts of foreign countries to reintegrate Myanmar into world affairs after a series of political reforms were introduced by the country's military-backed civilian government over the past couple of years.

“The international community is trying very hard to bring my country into it and it's up to our country to respond the right way,” she said.

The winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize also called for international investment as a way of helping develop Myanmar's economy.

The 66-year-old National League for Democracy (NLD) leader had spent much of the past two decades under house arrest in Yangon. During most of that time, she had avoided travelling abroad for fears that she might not be allowed to re-enter Myanmar. She made her first foreign trip in more than two decades to Thailand two weeks ago.

Long-overdue acceptance speech

She had been released from house arrest after Myanmar's civilian government took over from the country's military regime and began introducing reforms. This led many countries in the West in particular to suspend economic sanctions that had been used to isolate the military leadership.

Suu Kyi was elected to Myanmar's parliament along with 42 other NLD members during a by-election in April.

She was to travel to the Swiss capital, Berne, later on Thursday, where she was to meet with Switzerland's Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter and President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf.

On Saturday she is to fly to Oslo, where she is to give an acceptance speech for the peace prize that she won 21 years ago.

pfd/ipj (AFP, dpa)