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Burma's FM Hints at Possible Release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi - 2004-02-09


Burma's foreign minister is hinting that pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi could be released from house arrest within the next few months.

Foreign Minister Win Aung told reporters in Thailand Monday that Burma's military government will attempt to resume multi-party talks on a new constitution by the second half of this year.

He said that in advance of the talks, restrictions against Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy will be lifted as part of confidence-building measures.

Mr. Win Aung spoke on the sidelines of a regional economic meeting in Thailand's southern resort of Phuket. He said the government in Rangoon is doing all it can to bring the country forward toward democracy.

However, he did not say specifically when restrictions against the pro-democracy figures will be lifted.

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and several of her key aides were detained last May after a clash between her supporters and government demonstrators. Some have been freed but many are still in detention or under house arrest.

The government has promised to hold a national convention later this year to draft a new constitution. The convention is part of a so-called "road map" toward democracy announced by Prime Minister Khin Nyunt in August.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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