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Suu Kyi and UN chief Ban speak by phone

Myanmar opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi and UN chief Ban Ki-moon spoke by telephone on Thursday and renewed demands for her country's ruling generals to release all remaining political prisoners.

world Updated: Nov 18, 2010 22:04 IST

Myanmar opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi and UN chief Ban Ki-moon spoke by telephone on Thursday and renewed demands for her country's ruling generals to release all remaining political prisoners.

"Aung San Suu Kyi expressed her support for an early visit by the secretary general's special advisor for Myanmar to Yangon and her desire to engage with him for pushing ahead in addressing the challenges facing the people of Myanmar," a UN statement said.

The UN advisor, Vijay Nambiar, had been pressing to visit Myanmar before the country's contested national election on November 7. But diplomats said the junta had only agreed for him to go there after the vote.

Ban visited Myanmar last year but was not allowed to see Suu Kyi, who was released from almost two decades of detention and house arrest on Saturday.

The National League for Democracy leader has told diplomats that the release of the estimated 2,100 political prisoners still in Myanmar jails is her top campaign issue.

"The secretary general and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi both stressed the need for the Myanmar authorities to release all remaining political prisoners as a matter of priority so that all citizens of Myanmar are free to contribute to advancing the prospects of national reconciliation and democratic transition in Myanmar," said the statement.

Ban told Suu Kyi "he was encouraged by the spirit of reconciliation emanating from her statements and appeals for dialogue and compromise following her release."

The UN leader reiterated the United Nations commitment "to uphold the cause of human rights and support all efforts by the government, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all other stakeholders to build a united, peaceful, democratic and modern future for their country."

It was not immediately clear whether Ban called Suu Kyi or the other way around.