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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 15, 1994


President Clinton has sent a letter to detained Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to offer his support for her efforts on behalf of democracy and human rights in Burma. Congressman Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Deputy Majority Whip, was invited by Burmese authorities to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi on February 14 and has delivered the President's letter to her. He met with her again today. Congressman Richardson is the first person outside of Aung San Suu Kyi's immediate family to meet with her since she was placed under house arrest in July 1989.

The United States urges Burma's military leaders to build on this small step by beginning a dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi and moving toward genuine democratic reform. The Burmese people made clear their desire for an end to more than three decades of military rule and the establishment of democratic government in the 1990 elections but the government continues to thwart implementation of the results. The President regards the continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and all other prisoners of conscience in Burma as unacceptable and renews his call for their immediate and unconditional release.

The text of the President's letter to Aung San Suu Kyi is attached.

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