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U.S. officials to meet with Myanmar opposition leader

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:16 AM EST, Thu January 12, 2012
U.S. diplomats will meet with Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi this week.
U.S. diplomats will meet with Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi this week.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The U.S. special envoy and ambassador for human trafficking meet with Suu Kyi
  • The delegation arrived in Myanmar on Monday
  • It has met with top government officials

(CNN) -- U.S. diplomats met with the Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday in another sign of thawing relations between Washington and the Southeast Asian nation.

Derek Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy to Myanmar, and Luis CdeBaca, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for human trafficking, held talks with Suu Kyi at her residence.

The U.S. delegation arrived in the country Monday and has meet with top government officials.

The meetings also coincides with an announcement by government officials that Myanmar has begun peace talks with a major rebel group, signing a cease fire with the Karen National Liberation Army.

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Myanmar has been ruled by a military junta since 1962, and the generals have started to loosen their grip on the country after coming under criticism for their human rights record in recent years. Thein Sein, a former military official and prime minister, became president last year as a result of an election criticized by democracy activists as a sham.

Myanmar authorities released Suu Kyi in 2010 after years of house arrest and then freed dozens of political prisoners in October 2011. Last week, she met with William Hague, the first British foreign secretary to visit Myanmar in more than 50 years.

Burma was a part of British India from 1886 until gaining its independence in 1948. Since 1989, the ruling military has said the nation should be called Myanmar, but some Western nations still refer to it as Burma.

CNN's Kocha Olarn contributed to this report.

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