Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi accepts Obama's invitation to visit US

Aung San Suu Kyi has accepted an invitation from President Barack Obama to visit the United States, which will occur at a "mutually convenient time".
Aung San Suu Kyi has accepted an invitation from President Barack Obama to visit the United States, which will occur at a "mutually convenient time". PHOTO: AFP

YANGON (REUTERS) - Myanmar government leader Aung San Suu Kyi has accepted an invitation from President Barack Obama to visit the United States, the government said on Thursday (July 21), in what would be her first trip to America since she won an election in November.

Suu Kyi planned to travel at a "mutually convenient time", a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said. Another government source said the trip was likely to coincide with the UN General Assembly session in New York in September.

Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, swept to power in a historic election in November after decades of campaigning against military rule.

It took over the running of the country after a transition from semi-civilian rule in April. "She accepted President Obama's invitation to visit the US before his presidency ends," said Aye Aye Soe, a spokeswoman at the foreign ministry, which is run by Suu Kyi.

Visiting US Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes delivered Obama's invitation during a meeting with Suu Kyi in the capital, Naypyitaw, on Wednesday.

Suu Kyi, 71, is barred from becoming president by the constitution drafted under the previous regime, because her two sons do not have Myanmar citizenship.

She is instead foreign minister and has also assumed the newly created post of state counsellor. She is in overall charge of running the government.

The US embassy in the city of Yangon did not comment.

Suu Kyi, who spent years under house arrest during military rule, visited the United States as the leader of the opposition in September 2012.

The UN General Assembly session in New York is scheduled from Sept 13 to Sept 26. Obama will leave office in January after a November election.