Myanmar's Suu Kyi heads to Brussels, Luxembourg, Strasbourg

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi meets European Union leaders this weekend before heading to Luxembourg for talks with European Union (EU) foreign ministers and to Strasbourg to pick up a prize she won 23 years ago.

At a ceremony at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, Suu Kyi will finally receive the Sakharov human rights prize she won in 1990 at the height of the Myanmar military crackdown.

The ceremony will be preceded by talks with EU leaders on a joint EU-Myanmar Task Force due to meet in mid-November which will explore ways that Europe can help Myanmar, an EU diplomat said.

The Nobel peace laureate will also hold talks with the European Union's 28 foreign ministers over a luncheon in Luxembourg on Monday, EU sources said.

She will meet European Council president Herman Van Rompuy on Sunday in Brussels for face-to-face talks.

Ms Suu Kyi, now leader of the opposition in Myanmar and aiming to run in presidential polls in 2015, was under house arrest for long periods and only freed in 2010.

In July, the EU formally reinstated preferential trade terms for Myanmar in recognition of the country's efforts to improve the political situation as well as its labour and social systems.

Six months ago, EU foreign ministers agreed to lift the last of the bloc's trade, economic and individual sanctions against Myanmar, hailing "a new chapter" with the once pariah state.

The bloc had begun to ease sanctions in 2012 as the military, in power for decades, progressively ceded power to civilians and implemented wholesale reforms of the economy.

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