Asia

Aung San Suu Kyi meets Burma President Thein Sein

Aung San Suu Kyi addresses supporters and reporters from behind the gates of the National League for Democracy (NLD) office in Yangon 2 April, 2012
Image caption Ms Suu Kyi is holding a private meeting with the president ahead of the next parliament sitting

Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has met President Thein Sein, ahead of the country's next parliamentary session in a fortnight.

It is the second time Ms Suu Kyi has met the president and comes after she led her party to a sweeping victory in by-elections on 1 April.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) won 43 of 44 seats it contested.

It still holds only a small proportion of the seats in parliament, which is dominated by the military-backed USDP.

There were no immediate details of the talks between Ms Suu Kyi and Mr Thein.

Returning to Rangoon from the capital, Nay Pyi Daw, Ms Suu Kyi told reporters only that it had been "a good meeting".

Ahead of the discussions, an NLD official had said that Ms Suu Kyi would also be lunching with the president's family.

Reformist leader

The Nobel laureate first met the president in August last year.

Much has happened in Burma since that landmark meeting, says the BBC's South East Asia correspondent Rachel Harvey.

Since then hundreds of political prisoners have been released and the military-backed civilian government has made efforts to negotiate peace deals with ethnic rebel groups - overtures aimed at encouraging the lifting of sanctions by the European Union and US.

It is widely believed that much of the groundwork for the changes stems from an understanding reached between the president and Ms Suu Kyi, who spent most of the last two decades in detention because of her efforts to bring democracy to Burma.

This latest meeting is likely to build on that tentative trust and, perhaps, to chart the next phase in Burma's transition from dictatorship to democracy, says our correspondent.

Tentative change

Ms Suu Kyi's party won a landslide victory in national elections in 1990, but was not allowed to govern.

It boycotted polls in 2010 that saw power transferred from the military junta to a military-backed nominally civilian government because of election laws it said were unfair.

But amid reforms in Burma it rejoined the political process and contested by-elections to fill seats left empty by the appointment of ministers.

Thein Sein - who also served as a general and then prime minister under the junta - is broadly considered to be a reformist.

Burma's recent reforms have been welcomed and following the successful by-elections the US agreed to lift some sanctions against Burma.

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