UN chief visits Myanmar to press government for more reforms

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UN chief visits Myanmar to press government for more reforms

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva April 12, 2012. (Image: Reuters)

U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, who will meet President Thein Sein and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, said his visit comes at a 'critical moment.'

The government's relationship with the international community is thawing after it started implementing economic reforms and opened up dialogue with the West and ethnic minority rebel groups.

Ban applauded the nation's recent reforms, including elections and steps toward reconciliation with the rebels and opposition movements. But he said more needs to be done.

The trip, which follows a series of political reforms in Myanmar, marks the latest step in the country's international rehabilitation after decades of isolation.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met with Suu Kyi on Saturday.

Ashton will open a new embassy-level office for the European Union in Yangon to 'help support Myanmar/Burma on its path to full democracy.'

Suu Kyi and 42 other candidates from her party won seats in elections on April 1, a result welcomed by the United States and Britain as a sign of progress toward democracy after decades of repressive military rule.

Other high-profile visitors to Myanmar in recent months include British Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

(CNN)

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