Myanmar’s democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi will travel to the United States next Sunday, in a trip that will see her awarded Washington’s highest honor.
It will be her first visit to the US since she was put under house arrest in 1990.
“The lady will travel on September 16,” said Nyan Win, spokesman for the Nobel laureate’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party, without adding further details.
As part of her visit Suu Kyi, who was elected to parliament this year in a dramatic sign of Myanmar’s reforms, will travel to Washington to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.
The medal is the top honor bestowed by the US Congress, which voted to award it to Suu Kyi in May 2008 when the prospect of her leaving Myanmar looked remote.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited the democracy champion to Washington when she paid a landmark visit to Myanmar, also known as Burma, in December.
Myanmar was for decades ruled by an iron-fisted junta, but a reformist government under ex-general President Thein Sein has freed political prisoners and allowed Suu Kyi’s party back into mainstream politics.
Thein Sein is expected to head to the United States during a UN summit, at roughly the same time as Suu Kyi.
US President Barack Obama last month waived visa restrictions so that Myanmar’s leader could travel freely during the UN General Assembly.
The Obama administration, hoping to encourage further reforms, has sent a US ambassador to Myanmar for the first time in more than two decades and has eased restrictions on investment by US companies.