(Reuters) – A senior U.N. official who made a rare trip to hold talks with Myanmar’s military rulers last month said on Monday she would visit the Southeast Asian country again only if she were allowed to meet ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military overthrew an elected government led by Nobel laureate Suu Kyi early last year and launched a bloody crackdown on peaceful protests and armed resistance movements that followed.
Noeleen Heyzer, the United Nations secretary-general’s special envoy to Myanmar, told a seminar in Singapore the “reality is that there is no clear path out of this crisis and that there will be no easy solutions.”
In comments released in a statement, she also noted “continued differences in positioning among member states of the U.N.” over Myanmar and said that “political solutions ultimately cannot be imposed from the outside.”
During her visit last month, Heyzer said she had called on the military to release political prisoners and stop executions after meeting junta chief Min Aung Hlaing and other officials.
“If I ever visit Myanmar again, it will only be if I can meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” Heyzer told the seminar organised by the ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, referring to the ousted leader by an honorific used in Myanmar.
Heyzer expressed concern about the health and wellbeing of Suu Kyi and said that Min Aung Hlaing had “indicated the possibility of a meeting eventually.”
Suu Kyi, 77, has been on trial for more than a year on multiple charges, ranging from corruption and incitement to leaks of official secrets, for which the combined maximum sentences are more than 190 years.
She is being held in solitary confinement and was found guilty of electoral fraud on Friday and sentenced to three more years in jail with hard labour. She has denied all allegations against her.
Up to now, Myanmar’s military rulers have not allowed her to have any visitors and a military spokesperson last month said authorities would not let anyone meet people facing criminal charges.
(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Matthew Lewis)