Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that she would meet Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi on a visit to the neighbouring country next week.
Yingluck will travel to Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw on Monday for a meeting of Greater Mekong country leaders before visiting Yangon — becoming the first Thai premier to meet Suu Kyi, a government spokesman said.
“I will attend the conference on Mekong energy cooperation in Myanmar and will take this opportunity to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi to exchange views and ideas,” Yingluck said in her weekly live television broadcast.
“She is a remarkable woman who fights for democracy,” she added.
Thai foreign affairs spokesman Thani Thongphakdi said it would be the first meeting between Suu Kyi and a prime minister of Thailand, which a key local partner of the military-dominated country.
Detained for most of the past two decades, Suu Kyi was released from her latest stint under house arrest a few days after a controversial election in November last year, which her opposition party boycotted.
But since coming to power in March after nearly five decades of outright military rule, Myanmar’s nominally civilian government has surprised critics with a series of reformist moves.
It has also this month given Suu Kyi’s party the go-ahead to rejoin mainstream politics and allowed her various high-profile meetings, including with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and China’s ambassador to Myanmar.
Suu Kyi has said she will take part in by-elections expected in early 2012, although no date has been set.