Aung San Suu Kyi to Visit Swiss Parliament

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi is due to visit the Swiss parliament on the second day of her European trip after cancelling a dinner due to exhaustion.

Aung San Suu Kyi is in Europe for two weeks

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi is due to visit the Swiss parliament on the second day of her European trip after cancelling a dinner due to exhaustion.

The pro-democracy leader was due to dine with Swiss officials but opted to rest instead after falling ill at a press conference on Thursday.

She earlier called for support for democracy in Burma, on her first visit to Europe since 1988.

She is due to accept her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Saturday.

Since her arrival from Burma late on Wednesday night, she had admitted to jet lag and exhaustion, says the BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva.

Concerns for Ms Suu Kyi's health emerged on Thursday after she had to cut short a news conference in Bern after falling ill.

She had already complained of exhaustion after her speech to the International Labour Organization in Geneva, where she warned against economic development which ignored the rights of workers.

Aung San Suu Kyi spent much of the past 24 years under house arrest in Burma. She was freed in late 2010.

She won a seat in Burma's parliament in a by-election two months ago.

She chose to go first to the ILO because of its long campaign against forced labour in Burma - a campaign which kept the oppressive regime in the spotlight during her long years of house arrest, says our correspondent.

In her speech, she welcomed steps by the international community to reach out to her country, long isolated because of its military dictatorship.

"The international community is trying very hard to bring my country into it and it's up to our country to respond the right way."

Aung San Suu Kyi is well aware her country is now open for business - foreign investors are interested in this new Asian economy, says our correspondent.

"I would like to call for aid and investment that will strengthen the democratisation process by promoting social and economic progress that is beneficial to political reform," Ms Suu Kyi said.

Political reform

The two-week-long trip - seen as another milestone for Burma's political progress - will see her visit the UK, Switzerland, Ireland, France and Norway.

It is her second recent overseas trip, after visiting Thailand in May.

Her decision to travel is seen as a sign of confidence in the government of President Thein Sein, who has pursued a course of reform since coming to power last year, in Burma's first elections in 20 years.

Aung San Suu Kyi is the daughter of Burmese independence leader Aung San, who was assassinated in 1947.

She became the leader of Burma's pro-democracy movement when, after living abroad for many years, she returned to Burma in 1988, initially to look after her sick mother.

After that, she did not leave the country until recently, fearing that the country's then military rulers would not allow her to return to Burma.

The decision meant that she was unable to receive in person her Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in 1991, or be with her British husband, Michael Aris, when he died in 1999.