Call to free Suu Kyi

SINGAPORE - US president Barack Obama called for the release of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi when he met the country's prime minister at a meeting with other Southeast Asian leaders in Singapore yesterday.

SINGAPORE - US president Barack Obama called for the release of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi when he met the country's prime minister at a meeting with other Southeast Asian leaders in Singapore yesterday.

Obama did not speak to or shake hands with Myanmar prime minister Thein Sein at the meeting in Singapore's Shangri-la hotel with the 10 leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the first with a US president.

He joined the Asean tradition of linking arms at the start of the meeting, looking bemused.

White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said Obama reiterated his call for Suu Kyi to be freed, though a statement to be issued after the meeting does not demand her release or that of other political prisoners ahead of elections next year.

The meeting in Singapore marked the first time in history that a US leader had met with his counterparts in the 42-year-old grouping, founded at the height of the Vietnam War. - Reuters

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