20 Sep 2012

US finally gets to give Aung San Suu Kyi her medal

9:33 pm on 20 September 2012

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been presented with the United States' highest civilian honour - four years after being awarded it while under house arrest.

Receiving the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington, Ms Suu Kyi thanked the US for its support for democracy in her country.

She described it as "one of the most moving days of my life", the BBC reports.

Ms Suu Kyi also met President Barack Obama at the White House, shortly after the US Treasury said it had lifted sanctions on Myanmar's President Thein Sein.

Sanctions have been loosened since the new government began enacting democratic reforms in 2011.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former first lady Laura Bush were present at the medal ceremony, in the Capitol Rotunda, in Washington.

"The ties of friendship and understanding that have developed between you and lovers of democracy in Burma compensate for much of the trials we had to suffer over the past decades," Aung San Suu Kyi said after receiving the medal.

Ms Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in 2010.