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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 15:46 GMT
Suu Kyi meets her political party
Aung San Suu Kyi (pictured on 25 October 2007)
Ms Suu Kyi said she hoped for meaningful dialogue with the junta
Detained Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is reported to be optimistic about the chances of reconciliation with the military junta.

Her comments came as she met members of her political party for the first time in more than three years.

A party spokesman said Ms Suu Kyi appeared energetic and full of ideas despite her time under house arrest.

Ms Suu Kyi earlier met the military government official appointed to conduct a dialogue with the opposition.

The talks come a day after Ms Suu Kyi said she would work with the junta to achieve constructive dialogue.

She told her colleagues in the National League for Democracy (NLD) that a healing process was needed following the suppression of recent protests by the military.

This healing, she said, should include the release of political prisoners.

The London representative of the NLD, Win Naing, told the BBC that he believed the generals were willing to start a dialogue, but he also urged caution.

"They are very manipulative, and very difficult to deal with," he said.

"That's why it's a matter of time. We have to wait to see how positive they are, and how much they make improvements."

According to reports from Rangoon, three members of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party attended the meeting.

Aung San Suu Kyi and Aung Kyi
Mr Aung Kyi (r) has been appointed to liaise between both parties
They said that Aung Kyi, the official assigned to liaise with Ms Suu Kyi, was present at the beginning of the meeting and then left.

Mr Aung Kyi then met Ms Suu Kyi for another hour.

NLD spokesman U Nyan Win is reported to have said that Ms Suu Kyi believed the government was willing to work for national reconciliation.

She made similar comments in a statement delivered by UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari on Thursday.

"In the interest of the nation, I stand ready to co-operate with the government in order to make this process of dialogue a success," he quoted her as saying, as he ended a six-day visit to the country.

It was his second trip there since troops suppressed anti-government protests in September.

'Meaningful dialogue'

Ms Suu Kyi has not met members of her own party since May 2004. The junta has kept her under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years.

The NLD won polls in 1990 but was never allowed to take power.

We now have a process going which would lead to substantive dialogue between the government and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
UN statement

Her written statement, read to reporters by Mr Gambari, was her first public comment since her latest round of detention began in May 2003.

Ms Suu Kyi welcomed Aung Kyi's appointment as a go-between and described the first meeting between the two, on 25 October, as constructive.

But she called for preliminary consultations to conclude soon, to make way for a "meaningful and time-bound dialogue" with Burma's leaders.

Meanwhile, a UN statement issued at the end of Mr Gambari's visit said that progress had been made.

"We now have a process going which would lead to substantive dialogue between the government and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as a key instrument in promoting national reconciliation," it said.

But correspondents have expressed doubt over the government's commitment to a genuine process of dialogue aimed at reform.

The goal of such a dialogue process would be movement towards multi-party democracy - something in which Burma's generals have shown minimal interest.

"I find it very difficult to trust them. I hope this is not some new ploy," a roadside book seller in Rangoon told Reuters news agency.

And in the early stages of Mr Gambari's visit, there were unpromising signs.

Firstly, the UN envoy was not allowed a meeting with top General Than Shwe, and then Information Minister Kyaw Hsan, in a meeting with Mr Gambari, accused the international community of bullying Burma.

Mr Gambari is to return to Burma in the next few weeks, the UN statement said.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Aung San Suu Kyi meets her political allies



SEE ALSO
Burma's hardline generals
12 Oct 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Burma's silent symbol of hope
27 Sep 07 |  Asia-Pacific

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