Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar General Meet, Taking Steps Toward Sharing Power

YANGON, Myanmar — She is the former political prisoner whose party has won this year’s election. He is the commander in chief of the military that jailed her for the better part of two decades.Their meeting on Wednesday as the two most powerful people in Myanmar was a crucial first step in the fragile transition from a military-backed government to one in which the military will share power with the democracy activists it once oppressed.The talks between the leader of Myanmar’s democracy movementDaw aung Sang Shki, and the commander in chief of the military, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, were the first face-to-face foray in what will surely be complex negotiations over how they will share power.

The leaders offered only a vague outline of what was discussed at the one-hour meeting. “In line with the desires of the people, they agreed to cooperate on peace, the rule of law, reconciliation and the development of the country,” said a statement released by the office of the commander in chief.But the contours of the negotiations ahead of them are already coming into focus, including the existence of several so-called red lines, issues on which the military may be unwilling to compromise.Although Ms.Suu Kiy’s party, the National League for Democracy, won a landslide victory in last month’s general elections, the military, which ruled Myanmar in one form or another for five decades,retains power.The National League for Democracy will control a majority in Parliament and will have the right to choose the next president, but the military will control a quarter of the parliamentary seats and several important ministries, making it a strong partner in a shotgun political marriage.


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