Suu Kyi touches down in Europe, after 24 years away | News | DW | 13.06.2012
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Suu Kyi touches down in Europe, after 24 years away

Myanmar opposition leader and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has arrived in Geneva at the beginning of a European tour. First stop in the visit is Geneva, before trips to Britain, France, Ireland and Norway.

Suu Kyi finally arrived in Geneva at 11.15 p.m. local time, her connecting flight from Munich having been delayed by some 30 minutes.

It is Suu Kyi's first visit to Europe for 24 years - the 66-year-old democracy activist having spent much of the past two decades under house arrest for her opposition to the military junta in Myanmar.

There was a reception with local officials on the tarmac, before she was taken by limousine to a nearby hotel for the night.

On Thursday she was set to address the International Labor Organization, which campaigns against slavery and child labor in Myanmar, at the UN's European headquarters.

She is then due to leave Geneva to fly to Oslo, Norway, where she will make a much-belated acceptance speech on Saturday for the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to her in 1991.

The prize came after Suu Kyi, who led her pro-democracy party to victory in Myanmar's elections in 1990, was detained by the military.

She was released from house arrest in November 2010 and won a seat in the Myanmar parliament in April this year.

In Ireland, she is scheduled to receive an Amnesty International human rights award in Dublin from U2 rock star Bono.

Later in the trip, Suu Kyi is to address both houses of parliament in Britain, where she lived for many years. She returned to Myanmar from Britain in 1988 in order to nurse her ailing mother.

rc/jm (AFP, AP, Reuters)