29 Apr 2012

EU chief to have talks in Myanmar

4:15 am on 29 April 2012

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is due to have talks in Myanmar, also known as Burma, to demonstrate EU support for recent political reforms in the country.

Baroness Ashton is expected to meet government ministers and the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi on Saturday night. She'll also open a new European Union embassy.

The BBC reports that less than a week after sanctions were suspended the EU's chief diplomat is in the country to reinforce in person a message already delivered in public: that Europe recognises the changes underway in Myanmar including the release of hundreds of political prisoners, and by-elections which sent Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament.

But remaining areas of disquiet include the number of political detainees still behind bars.