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Dialogue with Suu Kyi ‘not impossible’ says Myanmar junta

NAYPYIDAW, MYANMAR (AFP) – Dialogue between Myanmar’s junta and ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to end the bloody crisis unleashed by the toppling of her government last year is “not impossible”, a junta spokesman told AFP on Friday.

The Southeast Asian nation has been in chaos since the putsch, with renewed fighting with ethnic rebel groups, dozens of “People’s Defence Forces” springing up to fight the junta and the economy in tatters.

Suu Kyi, 77, has been kept virtually incommunicado by the military and was recently transferred from house arrest to solitary confinement while she faces multiple trials that could see her sentenced to more than 150 years in jail.

“There is nothing impossible in politics,” junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun told AFP when asked if the junta could enter into dialogue with Suu Kyi to resolve the turmoil.

“We cannot say that (negotiations with Suu Kyi) are impossible.”

“Several countries” had urged opening dialogue with the Nobel laureate, he said, without giving details.

Diplomatic efforts led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – of which Myanmar is a member – have so far failed to halt the bloodshed.

Aung San Suu Kyi. PHOTO: AP