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Ban Ki-moon makes landmark visit to 'reforming' Burma with 'guarded optimism'

Rangoon , Mon, 30 Apr 2012 ANI

Rangoon, Apr 30 (ANI): UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon has met Burmese President Thein Sein and other senior officials, and became the first foreign dignitary to address that nation's parliament.

Ban said he felt 'optimistic'about Burma's future, but warned of the 'hard work ahead', especially in the context of promoting peace with ethnic minorities.

Ban last visited Burma in 2009, but was then denied access to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. He will meet her on Tuesday.

This trip is the latest high-profile diplomatic visit to the once-isolated nation since a reformist government took office a year ago, The BBC reports.

According to the report, Ban is also due to visit northern Shan State, one of the world's biggest opium-growing regions, where the UN has started a poppy eradication programme.

On Sunday, he also paid his respects at the tomb of former Burmese diplomat UN secretary general U Thant. (ANI)

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