BERN, SWITZERLAND (BNO NEWS) — Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is currently on her first tour to Europe in more than two decades, fell ill during a news conference in Switzerland on late Thursday. It followed a long day filled with public events.
Suu Kyi, who was in the Swiss capital of Bern to answer questions alongside Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, told those attending the press conference that she was not feeling well when she arrived. Soon after, she apologized and called for one of her aides who rushed to her side with a bag, in which she threw up.
“I’m so sorry,” she said as she walked out of the press conference.
Due to her falling ill, Suu Kyi was unable to attend an official dinner which was to be held in her honor on Thursday night, according to the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Both Suu Kyi and a spokesman said the illness was the result of exhaustion, caused by her traveling and a day filled with public events.
Suu Kyi on late Wednesday evening arrived in Switzerland, the first step of her tour through Europe and her first visit to the continent in more than 24 years. Her day in Switzerland began with an address to the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva.
“It is 30 years since I was last in Geneva. I’m not sure I recognize it, but my heart recognizes it, as it recognizes that we will be meeting again and again to resolve the problems that pose a threat to the future not just of my country, but to the whole world,” she was quoted as saying.
Earlier this year, Suu Kyi was elected to parliament as the National League for Democracy, the political party she created, won dozens of seats in by-elections. It was the first election which Suu Kyi was allowed to run in since the beginning of her house arrest. She was released in November 2010.
Myanmar held its first elections in 20 years in November 2010, paving the way for the end to 49 years of military rule. The country has undergone a rapid number of political changes in the past year, including the loosening of press laws, legalizing the right to demonstrate and organize as workers, the release of leading political prisoners, and ethnic cease-fire agreements.