Myanmar hosts high-level guests | News | DW | 29.04.2012
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Myanmar hosts high-level guests

Myanmar hosted its second major foreign diplomat of the weekend as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon came to the country on the heels of a visit by EU foreign policy representative Catherine Ashton.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Myanmar on Sunday for talks with the reformist regime and opposition leaders, making him the second high-profile guest of the nation this weekend. The European Union's high representative for foreign policy, Catherine Ashton, arrived in Myanmar on Saturday.

Ban's visit will be considerably different from his last in 2009. Back then, Ban said it was a "very difficult mission" to convince the former strongman of Myanmar's military junta, Senior General Than Shwe, to release political prisoners.

Among the prisoners at the time was opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has since been released under President Thein Sein and elected to a seat in parliament, although her party has refused to take its seats in parliament over a dispute over the oath they are meant to take.

On this trip, Ban is scheduled to meet with Suu Kyi as well as Sein. Ashton met with Suu Kyi on Saturday and will also hold talks with Sein. On Saturday, she opened the EU's first diplomatic office in Myanmar.

mz/tj (Reuters, AFP)