'You must come to Downing Street': Historic meeting between Cameron and Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi opens possibility for her to visit in June
- First British Prime Minister to visit Burma in 60 years
- PM 'Cautiously optimistic' about future of the country
- Holds 15 minute one-to-one meeting with Miss San Suu Kyi
- Mr Cameron said he had invited her to visit Britain in June
- Praises President Thein Sein for bringing in democracy reforms
David Cameron today invited Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to visit Britain in June after calling for sanctions against the country to be eased.
If Ms Suu Kyi takes up the Prime Minister's invitation it would be the first time in more than two decades that she has left Burma and would present a major test of the government's commitment to reform.
In the past she has refused to leave the country for fear she would not be allowed back in.
However, she indicated a growing confidence in the good faith of President Thein Sein by saying she was considering accepting the offer.
'Two years ago, I would have said thank you for the invitation but sorry,' Ms Suu Kyi said. 'Now I am able to say perhaps. That is great progress.'
Scroll down for video of the historical meeting
Historic handshake: David Cameron meets with Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu today. The pair held a 15-minute one-on-one meeting before the rest of the delegation joined the talks
Sanctions: Mr Cameron, who became the first British Prime Minister to visit the country in 60 years, insisted that the recent moves towards democratic reform should be rewardedMr Cameron, who became the first British Prime Minister to visit the Burma in 60 years, insisted that the recent moves towards democratic reform should be rewarded.
After a historic 15 minute one-to-one meeting, Mr Cameron and Miss Suu Kyi spoke to press in the garden of the lakeside villa where the democracy leader had spent 15 years under house arrest.
He said: 'I think it is right to suspend sanctions that there are against Burma. To suspend them, not to lift them.'
Mr Cameron continued: 'Burma shouldn't be as poor as it is, it shouldn't have suffered under dictatorship for as long as it has and things don't have to be that way.
'There is the real prospect of change and I'm very much committed to working with you in trying to help make sure that your country makes those changes.
'I met with President Thien Sein today and there are prospects for change in Burma and I think it is right for the rest of the world to respond to those changes.
''Of course we must respond with care, we must always be sceptical and questioning because we want to know those changes are irreversible, but as we have discussed, I think it is right to suspend the sanctions that there are against Burma - to suspend them, not to lift them - and obviously not to include the arms embargo.
'I do think it is important to send a signal that we want to help see the changes that can bring the growth of freedom of human rights and democracy in your country.'
Walkabout: The Prime Minister listens to the Nobel laureate and newly elected parliamentarian as they take a stroll in the garden of her residence in Yangon
Folk hero: Mr Cameron said he had invited Miss San Suu Kyi to visit London in June
Democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi said: 'We still have a long way to go but we believe we can get there.
Remembrance: The Prime Minister visited a British cemetery after his meeting with Miss Suu Kyi
'I believe President Thien Sein is genuine about democratic reforms and I am very happy that Prime Minister Cameron thinks that the suspension of sanctions is the right way to respond to this.
'I support the lifting, rather than the suspension, of sanctions because this would be an acknowledgement of the role of the president and other reformers.
'This suspension will have taken place because of the steps taken by the president and other reformers.
'It would also make it quite clear to those who are against reform that should they try to obstruct the way of the reformers, then sanctions could come back.'
Ms Suu Kyi paid tribute to the 'help friends have given us over these last decades, especially Britain and other very close friends'.
She added: 'They have always understood our need for democracy, our desire to take our place in the world and the aspirations of our people.
'We have always shared the belief that what is necessary for Burma is an end to all ethnic conflict, respect for human rights - which would include the release of political prisoners - and the kind of development aid which would help empower our people and take our country further towards the road to genuine democracy.'
Face-off: Burmese politicians and members of David Cameron's delegation watch on as the Prime Minister sits down for talks at the presidential palace
Talks: Mr Cameron meets with Burma's President Thein Sein earlier in the day
Cameron is greeted by the President Thein Sein at the presidential palace in the new capital Naypyidaw
Praise: Mr Cameron made a passionate speech on the tarmac after arriving in the capital praising Burma's commitment to democratic reformMr Cameron added that he had invited Miss San Suu Kyi to visit Britain in June.
He said developments in Burma may be 'one potential chapter of light' in a 'world where there are many dark chapters in history being written'.
Speaking on the tarmac as he arrived in the new capital Naypyidaw, Mr Cameron said: 'This country really matters. For decades it has suffered under a brutal dictatorship. It is also desperately poor. It doesn't have to be this way.
'There is a government now that says it is committed to reform, that has started to take steps, and I think it is right to encourage those steps.'
Mr Cameron also said he wanted to meet Ms Suu Kyi, describing her as 'a shining example for people who yearn for freedom, for democracy, for progress'.
He added: 'We should be under no illusion about what a long way there is to go.'
He said the government had to demonstrate that moves to democracy were 'irreversible'.
At a joint press conference earlier in Mr Cameron's trip to south Asia, Malaysian prime minister Najib Tun Razak urged his counterpart to relax sanctions.
Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (centre) waves to the crowd after her recent byelection victory. Mr Cameron called her an 'inspirational woman'
Suu Kyi's political triumph has won international praise and been a significant factor in Mr Cameron speaking so highly of the country's reformsMr Najib, who recently held talks with Mr Thein in Burma, said: 'I really do believe first of all that he is sincere.
'This has been supported by Aung San Suu Kyi's own personal remarks about him.'
He said sanctions should be eased quickly in order to shore up the president's popularity.
'We need to support a man like President Thein Sein so he will be supported by the community, because there will be elements who want to take a much more conservative approach,' Mr Najib added.
But he added: 'Aung San Suu Kyi herself, who has spent so many years in such a long, lonely but powerful struggle, believes that he is acting in good faith.'
Britain had played a 'leading role' in the imposition of sanctions, and would also not be 'backwards' in responding to positive changes, he added.
Big business and foreign countries are jostling for commercial opportunities and influence in resource-rich Burma, and a formal decision on whether to ease European trade bans is expected on April 23.
Earlier on his trip Mr Cameron highlighted the dangers facing new democracies such as Egypt, where Islamic political parties have significant support.
'Let me be absolutely clear: I am not talking about Islam. Islam is a religion observed peacefully and devoutly by over a billion people," he told students at Al Azhar university in Jakarta.
'And let me also be clear: extremism is not only found among Muslims. But there is a problem across the globe with Islamist extremism which is a political ideology supported by a minority.
Mr Cameron (right) and the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak adjust their microphones at the start of a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, yesterday
'Extremists - some of whom are violent - and all of whom want to impose a particular and very radical, extreme version of Islamism on society to the exclusion of all others.
'And this total rejection of debate and democratic consent means they believe that democracy and Islam are incompatible. From Afghanistan to Iraq and from Bali to London, we have seen all too often that this extremism feeds prejudice, persecution and dreadful acts of terror and violence.
'These extremists try to turn Islam into a closed and warped ideology that is opposed to democracy. What Indonesia shows is that in the world's largest Muslim-majority country, it is possible to reject this extremist threat and prove that democracy and Islam can flourish alongside each other.
'That's why what you are doing here is so important, because it gives heart to those around the world who are engaged in the same struggle.'
The Prime Minister arrived in the country yesterday for a two-day visit to bolster economic ties. He said Indonesia has demonstrated how democracy is an alternative to the dead-end choice of dictatorship or extremism.
Indonesia in 1998 turned into the world's third-largest democracy after decades of dictatorship under Gen. Suharto.
The world's most populous Muslim country has also seen a spate of religious violence and terror attacks since 2000, claiming thousands of lives.
Warm reception: Mr Cameron talks to students at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus today. He praised the country's 'model of democracy'
Pleased to meet you: Mr Cameron shakes hands with students during his visit to the University of Nottingham Malaysia campus in Semenyih today
Members of the Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiah were convicted of bombings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali in 2002 that killed more than 200 people.
Mr Cameron went on: 'In Egypt, it is vitally important to ensure that the democratic success of the Muslim Brotherhood's party strengthens democracy and does not in the end undermine it.
'The choice of the Egyptian people must be respected and we must all be ready to work with the government that the Egyptian people elect.
'But at the same time we will demand that in pursuing their political views the elected government are not denying the rights of citizenship to those who do not share their specific religious views.
'So the world will expect them to live up to the commitments they have made to protect the rule of law for all citizens to defend the rights of the Coptic Christians and minority groups and to accept that democracy means they will be held accountable in the courts and that they should not pervert the democratic process to hold on to power, should the will of the people change.'