5 Mar 2012

McCully to meet Myanmar's Suu Kyi

6:27 pm on 5 March 2012

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully leaves on Monday for a two-day visit to Myanmar where he will meet the government and Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

New Zealand has little top-level contact with Myanmar, outside of regional forums such as the East Asia Summit.

But following an invitation from Myanmar's Foreign Minister, Mr McCully will spend two days in the country, which has been ruled by the military for 50 years until elections were held last year.

Mr McCully will meet both his counterpart and President Thein Sein, a former army general, on Tuesday.

He will then go to Yangon, where he will hold talks with Ms Suu Kyi on Wednesday.

She spent much of the last 20 years under house arrest and is currently campaigning to win a seat in Myanmar's Parliament in a by-election to be held next month.

It is believed to be the first time a New Zealand foreign minister has visited Myanmar, also known as Burma.