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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Suu Kyi meets Burmese minister
Aung San Suu Kyi, photographed receiving the UN's Ibrahim Gambari on 2 October
Ms Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years
Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has held her first meeting with the senior military official appointed to liaise with her.

She spent just over an hour with former general Aung Kyi, state media said.

Aung Kyi was given the task of liaising between the government and Ms Suu Kyi earlier this month, in an apparent concession to international pressure.

Burma's junta has been heavily criticised by the UN for its crackdown on anti-government protests last month.

The government said 10 people died during the crackdown, but diplomats believe the toll was much higher. Thousands more - many of them monks - are thought to have been detained.

'Smooth relations'

Previous attempts to build dialogue between the military and Ms Suu Kyi - the head of the National League for Democracy party - have come to nothing.

Senior military generals are reported to find even the mention of her name distasteful, and she has spent 12 of the past 18 years under house arrest.

She last left home a few weeks ago, to meet UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari at a military guesthouse in Burma's main city, Rangoon.

Mr Gambari, who also met Burma's military leader General Than Shwe during his visit, suggested appointing a liaison officer between the two sides.

The state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper then announced that the government had agreed to the idea "in respect of Gambari's recommendation and in view of smooth relations", and that Aung Kyi had been appointed.

Among foreign diplomats and journalists, Aung Kyi has a reputation for being relatively accessible and reasonable compared with the most senior Burmese leaders.

He is used to difficult roles. He also serves as deputy labour minister, with the task of dealing with the International Labour Organization, which regularly accuses Burma's military of using forced labour.

Mr Gambari visited Beijing on Wednesday in an attempt to encourage the Chinese authorities to put greater pressure on Burma.

But while Beijing has expressed concern about the crackdown on protesters, it has continued to stress that talks and not sanctions are the way forward.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China would continue its efforts to help achieve a "proper resolution" in Burma.

"Myanmar's (Burma's) problems should be resolved by the Myanmar government and people themselves," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters.

Aung San Suu Kyi meets with Burmese official


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