Media Release

9 October 2009

Meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Australia's Chargé d'Affaires in Rangoon, Simon Starr, together with the UK Ambassador and the US Deputy Head of Mission, today met Aung San Suu Kyi.

The meeting, which was organised by the Burmese authorities at Aung San Suu Kyi's request, took place at a state guesthouse near Aung San Suu Kyi's home and lasted for an hour.

The meeting was the first opportunity for a substantive discussion between Australian officials and Aung San Suu Kyi since February 2003.

Aung San Suu Kyi sought the meeting to obtain information about the sanctions policies of the Australian and United States governments and the European Union, to inform her discussions with the State Peace and Development Council.

Burmese officials were present during the meeting.

The Government sees this as a positive step by both the Burmese authorities and Aung San Suu Kyi.

During today's meeting, Australia's representative conveyed a message from the Prime Minister which expressed the support of the Government and people of Australia for Aung San Suu Kyi and for her struggle for democracy in Burma. The message expressed the hope that her sacrifice would, in time, lead to a better Burma.

Aung San Suu Kyi appeared to be in good health and welcomed the message of support.

The Government hopes that this constructive meeting may lay the groundwork for further contact. Australia is willing to contribute in ways that assist further dialogue and progress towards national reconciliation, democratic reform, and the long-term security and stability of Burma.

Media Enquiries: DFAT Media Liaison - 02 6261 1555