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Aung San Suu Kyi warns of Myanmar transition dangers on Paris visit

Aung San Suu Kyi in Paris with President François Hollande
Aung San Suu Kyi in Paris with President François Hollande Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for international support as her country faces a "difficult period of transition" on a visit to Paris on Tuesday.

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After talks with French President François Hollande, the Nobel Peace Prize winner described the atmosphere in Myanmar as tense.

As a long period of military rule draws to a close, the country is looking forward to reforming its constitution and to holding free elections in Novemer 2015.

Myanmar is entering the most sensitive and difficult part of the democratic reform that her National League for Democracy has been fighting for for decades, Aung San Suu Kyi said, pointing to constitutional amendments, ethnic tension between Buddhists and Muslim Rohingyas and the army's role as challenges facing the country.

Hollande, who met Aung San Suu Kyi when she visited Paris in 2012, pledged France's support in ensuring the country's democratic transition.

"France stands with the Burmese people as the promised reforms come into effect," he said. "We've lifted sanctions over the course of these recent years and we've made efforts to integrate Myanmar in economic and commercial procedures. But we are also attentive and concerned each time a barrier is placed on the road to democracy."

Aung San Suu Kyi spent two decades in prison or under house arrest until her detention was lifted in 2010 at the start of liberalisation by the country's military rulers.

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