Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is "happy" that the US is lifting sanctions on her country as she feels her countrymen should now take responsibility for its democratisation, a process she sees as a "common goal" with President Thein Sein.
Suu Kyi, who is on a landmark visit to the US that has included meetings with President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday.
Later briefly addressing the media with Ban, Suu Kyi noted she was "very happy" to have met Obama and said she had a "good meeting" with him. She, however, did not divulge details of her interaction with the US President.
The US had announced yesterday it is lifting sanctions on Myanmar President Thein Sein and parliamentary speaker Thura Shwe Mann as the US Congress honoured Suu Kyi with the highest civilian honour at a ceremony in Washington.
The US Treasury Department acknowledged steps taken by Sein and Mann to promote political reforms and human rights and take Myanmar away from repression toward democracy.
"I am happy that sanctions are now being lifted because as I have been saying – rather ad nauseum – it is time now that the Burmese people took responsibility for their democratisation of the country," she said in response to a question on the US decision to lift sanctions on Myanmar.
Suu Kyi expressed appreciation for the support the US Congress has shown towards her country but added that now it is up to the people of her country to take the nation forward.
"I am very, very appreciative of what the US Congress has done for many years to support our movement, but now we have to try to work on our own, of course, with the continuing support and help of friends," she said.
Suu Kyi's visit to the US will coincide with a visit by Sein who arrives in New York to participate in the 67th session of the General Assembly next week.
When asked if her visit and her work for democracy will outshine the President, Suu Kyi said the work both of them are doing in putting Myanmar back on the road to democracy should not be thought of in terms of personalities.
"I think we should think about it as a common goal. If we all want to achieve genuine democracy for Burma, we have to learn to work together and not think about our impact as personalities, either in our country or in the world at large," she said.
The Nobel laureate's visit to the UN coincided with the International Day of Peace, during which the UN calls for complete cessation of hostilities around the world.