Obama to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi ahead of vote on sanctions relief

President Obama will meet with Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at the White House Wednesday afternoon shortly before the House votes on legislation to ease sanctions against her country, a senior administration official told The Hill. 

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Obama will meet with Suu Kyi shortly after she receives the Congressional Gold Medal in a Capitol Hill ceremony that will include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former first lady Laura Bush. Suu Kyi is on a two-week visit to the United States, her first since being elected to parliament earlier this year after spending 15 years under house arrest.

Lawmakers who have supported sanctions against Burma in the past argue that the former pariah state has made great strides towards democracy over the past year and should be rewarded. The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday evening on a bill, sponsored by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), that would end the requirement that U.S. officials at international institutions such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund oppose assistance to Burma, also known as Myanmar.

Suu Kyi said she supports lifting some sanctions during an appearance at the U.S. Institute for Peace on Tuesday.

”I do not think that we need to cling on to sanctions unnecessarily,” she said, “because I want our people to be responsible for their own destiny and not to depend too much on external prop.”

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