Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi had been under house arrest for 15 of the past 20 years [EPA]
 
Barack Obama, US president

While the Burmese regime has gone to extraordinary lengths to isolate and silence Aung San Suu Kyi, she has continued her brave fight for democracy, peace, and change in Burma.  She is a hero of mine and a source of inspiration for all who work to advance basic human rights in Burma and around the world. 

The United States welcomes her long overdue release. 

Whether Aung San Suu Kyi is living in the prison of her house, or the prison of her country, does not change the fact that she, and the political opposition she represents, has been systematically silenced, incarcerated, and deprived of any opportunity to engage in political processes that could change Burma.  It is time for the Burmese regime to release all political prisoners, not just one," read the statement.

The United States looks forward to the day when all of Burma’s people are free from fear and persecution.  Following Aung San Suu Kyi’s powerful example, we recommit ourselves to remaining steadfast advocates of freedom and human rights for the Burmese people, and accountability for those who continue to oppress them. 

Angela Merkel, German chancellor

Aung San Suu Kyi is a symbolic figure of the global fight for human rights. Her pacificism and intransigence have made her a model.

David Cameron, British prime minister

Aung San Suu Kyi is an inspiration for all of us who believe in freedom of speech, democracy and human rights. Freedom is Aung San Suu Kyi's right. The Burmese regime must now uphold it.

Nicolas Sarkozy, French president

France will be extremely attentive to the conditions in which Madame Aung San Suu Kyi enjoys her refound liberty. (Any) restrictions on her freedom of movement and expression would constitute a new unacceptable denial of her rights.

Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general

Notwithstanding the welcome news of her release, it is deeply regrettable that Daw Aung Suu Kyi was effectively excluded from participating in the recent elections....

Democracy and national reconciliation require that all citizens of Myanmar are free to participate as they wish in the political life of their country. "Her dignity and courage in the face of injustice have been an inspiration to many people around the world.

Navi Pillay, UN high commissioner for human rights

This is a positive signal that the authorities in Myanmar are willing to move forward with the serious challenge of democratic transition, and the need for national reconciliation. Clearly, Aung San Suu Kyi can make a major contribution to this processes.

It is important that her release is unconditional, and that this is honoured in practise. Her long detention and deprivation of rights remain a serious violation of human rights on the part of the government of Myanmar.

I urge the authorities of Myanmar to now release the other 2,200 political prisoners as a clear sign that the new Government intends to respect human rights and forge a new future for the country.

Jose Manuel Barroso, head of the European commision

It is now crucial that Aung San Suu Kyi has unrestricted freedom of movement and speech and can participate
fully in her country's political process. I also call for the unconditional release of all other citizens
detained for their political convictions.

Seiji Maehara, Japanese foreign minister

The government of Japan views the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as a step forward.

We expect the government of Myanmar to take further positive measures in the future to realize improvement of the human rights situation, democratisation and national reconciliation.

Piero Fassino, EU special envoy for Myanmar

We hope that this act... is followed by other essential ones: freedom for all political prisoners, an end to all hostility towards ethnic minorities and the launch of a process for national reconciliation.

It's now time for Myanmar to launch a real democratic transition based on dialogue and the involvement of all parts of society.

Bill Clinton, former US president

I am thrilled by the news of her release. People who love freedom everywhere admire her and the long sacrifice she has made for her people.

I was honoured to present Aung San Suu Kyi with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000 and I hope this signals a new direction for life within the country and for the country's relations with others beyond their borders. In light of recent elections, I also hope that Aung San Suu Kyi's release will lead to the rapid inclusion of her and the Burmese citizens in governance.

Source: Agencies