British Foreign Secretary William Hague has begun a landmark visit to Myanmar, the first British foreign secretary to visit the country since 1955.
Hague arrived in the capital, Naypyitaw, for talks with President Thein Sein and was scheduled to meet later with opposition leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon.
Myanmar was a military dictatorship until last year, but recent changes by the new government have raised hopes of further reforms.
Hague is the latest top international official to visit Myanmar, after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited in December.
Also today, Myanmar's national election commission approved Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) to run in upcoming by-elections.
Suu Kyi is expected to run in the April 1 by-election. The NLD boycotted general elections in 2010 because of restrictions that, among other things, would have prevented Suu Kyi from running.
compiled from agency reports