Sarkozy says Suu Kyi released after he spoke to China's Hu

16th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday that China had influenced the Myanmar junta's freeing of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi because he spoke about her to Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"On the freeing of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Chinese president helped me because I spoke about this person to Hu Jintao when he was visiting France in early November," Sarkzoy said in a television interview.

"The Chinese authorities had an influence on the Burmese junta because I spoke to (Hu) about it," he said.

China has declined to comment on Myanmar's release of democracy icon Suu Kyi but said it hoped the country's military junta would proceed with its plans for eventual democracy.

Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest Saturday, less than a week after an election that cemented the military junta's grip on power but was widely criticised by democracy activists and Western leaders as a sham.

China is a key supplier of arms to Myanmar, its southern neighbour, and a buyer of its natural resources.

"I hope that she will enjoy once more all her political rights and if the situation doesn't improve that will obviously be a problem for the durability of French businesses in Burma," Sarkozy said.

French energy giant Total is one of the largest foreign investors in Myanmar.

© 2010 AFP

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