On the first visit by a British Minister to Myanmar since 1955, Foreign Secretary William Hague, has welcomed a pledge by the country to release more political prisoners, saying the move could lead to closer ties with the West.
It is believed that only 12 of the 900 set free last week, as an independence day gesture, were political prisoners. Meanwhile hundreds of those arrested during pro-democracy demonstrations in 2007 remain behind bars.
Later the British Foreign Secretary was also due to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi. The pro-democracy leader, who was herself held prisoner for many years, has urged her supporters to stay strong in the fight for freedom.
William Hague’s visit to Myanmar follows shortly after a trip by Hillary Clinton at the end of last year, and many believe there are signs of real change in the country.