Myanmar's Suu Kyi says Polish path to democracy inspired her

WARSAW (Reuters) - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi told Polish democracy champion Lech Walesa on Thursday that she was inspired by how Poland had peacefully ended authoritarian rule and hoped her homeland would follow the same path to freedom.

Suu Kyi, who spent many years under house arrest for opposing Myanmar's military rulers, met fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Walesa, who in the 1980s led the protests that helped oust Poland's Communist authorities.

"We in Burma (Myanmar) are just at the beginning of this road that you took many, many years earlier, a couple of decades earlier, but we believe, as you did then, that we should succeed," she told reporters in the Polish capital.

"It is very encouraging for me to be among people who understand exactly the kind of struggle that we would still have to go through before we can say that we are a democratic society," she said.

Walesa, a former shipyard worker who went on to be Poland's first democratically elected president, said he was optimistic about Myanmar's chances for freedom.

"We lost a number of battles before accomplishing success. They're in a similar situation. They lose some battles, but in general they'll probably win the war," he said.

Suu Kyi is on a tour of eastern Europe that will also include visits to Hungary and the Czech Republic.

(Reporting by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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