UK's Hague makes ground-breaking trip to Myanmar

January 5, 2012 03:40

LONDON - British Foreign Secretary William Hague, on the eve of a visit to long-isolated Myanmar amid signs of thaw in its relations with the West, urged the country's leaders to release all political prisoners and speed up political reforms.

Hague, making the first visit to Myanmar by a British foreign minister in more than 50 years, follows in the footsteps of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who visited Myanmar last month.

Hague said his two-day visit, starting on Thursday, was made possible by recent steps taken by Myanmar, including the release of some political prisoners, the easing of media curbs, opening a dialogue with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and allowing her party to take part in by-elections set for April.

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