Myanmar's pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, who had expressed her disappointment with India for engaging with the country's military junta, today said one has to "make allowances for friends" even if they go "astray" at times.
After a 40-minute meeting with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who is here on his first official bilateral visit, the opposition leader said she would want India to look at the situation in Myanmar, which is in transition from one form of governance to another, in a "very practical way".
"No. I never had misgivings with India. I have said there were times when I felt sad but you have to make allowances for friends. If you are fond of your friends, you have to accept that sometimes they go astray and sometimes we do and that's no reason for us to suffer," Ms Suu Kyi, who is 67, said.
During her visit to India last month, Ms Suu Kyi had said she was saddened that India had drawn away from Myanmar in its "most difficult days" and hoped it will stand by her country in achieving democracy.
Ms Suu Kyi, who has studied at New Delhi's Lady Shri Ram College, today said: "It's not just about speed that is everything. If India could be aware of what our present problems are and which ones need to be tackled first and go about it."
"Secondly, whatever you do I would want the people to be involved as far as possible because unless you empower the people along the way to democracy, you won't really get there in the way we would like to get there," she said.
The Nobel laureate said that she would like "exchanges" that would enable people to get to know one another more to appreciate the differences. "It's always important to appreciate differences rather than the similarities," she said.