Webb Visits Suu Kyi, Wins American's Release
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 15, 2009 8:09 AM CDT
In this Aug. 14, 2009 image taken from a video footage shot by MRTV via APTN, U.S. Senator Jim Webb, D-Va., center right, shakes hand with Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.   (AP Photo/MRTV via APTN)
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(Newser) – Sen. Jim Webb visited Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi today, in a rare meeting between a foreign official and the Nobel laureate, the AP reports. He also won the release of the American who swam uninvited to her home and caused her latest trouble. Suu Kyi, who was recently convicted of violating her house arrest by meeting with John Yettaw, was driven to a government guest house for a 40-minute talk with Webb.

Webb also met with junta chief Senior Gen. Than Shwe, his first meeting with a senior US official. Webb's visit to Myanmar, the first by a member of Congress in more than a decade, has drawn criticism from activists who say it confers legitimacy on a brutal regime, but the Obama administration gave the Virginia Democrat its blessing. Webb is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee.