Paris: President Francois Hollande has told Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi during her Paris visit that France would do everything possible to back the country's democratic transition.
   
Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi, on the final leg of a landmark European tour, meanwhile called for investment in her country's struggling economy, but said this should not be at the expense of ongoing political reforms.
   
Hollande, after welcoming the democracy leader at the Elysee Palace, said on Tuesday France will support "all actors" in Myanmar's reforms and that Paris was ready to host reformist President Thein Sein if he wanted to visit.   

"I reaffirm here that France will support all the actors in (Myanmar)'s democratic transition and will do everything possible with... the European Union so that this process goes to the end," Hollande said.
   
Asked at their joint press conference about ex-general Thein Sein -- whom Myanmar's former colonial ruler Britain last week invited to visit -- Hollande said: "If he wants to come, he will come."
   
Suu Kyi, 67, came to France after warm welcomes in Switzerland, Norway, Ireland and Britain and was treated with honours normally accorded a head of state, including a dinner with Hollande.
   
Suu Kyi was freed from nearly two decades of house arrest in November 2010 and became a lawmaker this year as part of a gradual transition towards democracy in the Southeast Asian nation.
   
"We need democracy as well as economic development," she said in Paris.  "Development cannot be a substitute for democracy, it must be used to strengthen the foundations of democracy."
   
Suu Kyi said that "financial transparency in the extractive industries and, in fact, business in general" were essential to investment in the resource-rich country formerly called Burma.
   
Hollande also told Suu Kyi that the French oil giant Total, which operates the offshore Yadana gas field in Myanmar, was respecting environmental and labour laws in the country.
   
Total's presence in Myanmar has been contested by human rights activists, who have accused the firm of enriching and cooperating with the former junta that was accused of widepsread human rights abuses.

(Agencies)

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