In quotes: Reaction to release of Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi celebrates with her supporters
Image caption Aung San Suu Kyi's release has been welcomed around the world

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from house arrest after spending most of the past two decades in detention. Here is what some international figures have been saying about her release.

US President Barack Obama

While the Burmese regime has gone to extraordinary lengths to isolate and silence Aung San Suu Kyi, she has continued her brave fight for democracy, peace, and change in Burma. She is a hero of mine and a source of inspiration for all who work to advance basic human rights in Burma and around the world. The United States welcomes her long overdue release.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

The United States calls on Burma's leaders to ensure that Aung San Suu Kyi's release is unconditional so that she may travel, associate with her fellow citizens, express her views, and participate in political activities without restriction. They should also immediately and unconditionally release all of Burma's 2,100 political prisoners. We urge Burma's leaders to break from their repressive policies and begin an inclusive dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratic and ethnic leaders towards national reconciliation and a more peaceful, prosperous, and democratic future.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

(Statement issued by a UN spokesman) Her dignity and courage in the face of injustice have been an inspiration to many people around the world. Notwithstanding the welcome news of her release, it is deeply regrettable that Aung San Suu Kyi was effectively excluded from participating in the recent elections. The Secretary General expects that no further restrictions will be placed on her, and he urges the Myanmar authorities to build on today's action by releasing all remaining political prisoners.

British Prime Minister David Cameron

This is long overdue. Aung San Suu Kyi is an inspiration for all of us who believe in freedom of speech, democracy and human rights. Her detention was a travesty, designed only to silence the voice of the Burmese people. Freedom is Aung San Suu Kyi's right. The Burmese regime must now uphold it.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy

France will pay very close attention to the conditions in which Aung San Suu Kyi enjoys her newfound freedom. Any obstacle to her freedom of movement or expression would constitute a new and unacceptable denial of her rights.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

(Statement issued by the German government) Aung San Suu Kyi is a symbol for the global fight for the realisation of human rights. Her non-violence and relentlessness have turned her into a role model.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso

I am delighted that Aung San Suu Kyi has finally been released from house arrest, after an ordeal of more than 20 years during which she was a global symbol of courage and hope. It is now crucial that Aung San Suu Kyi has unrestricted freedom of movement and speech and can participate fully in her country's political process. I also call for the unconditional release of all other citizens detained for their political convictions. This is the only way to ensure that the Myanmar elections of 7 November are the start of a real transition to democracy.

UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay

This is a positive signal that the authorities in Myanmar are willing to move forward with the serious challenge of democratic transition, and the need for national reconciliation. Clearly, Aung San Suu Kyi can make a major contribution to this process. I urge the authorities of Myanmar to now release the other political prisoners as a clear sign that the new government intends to respect human rights and forge a new future for the country.

South African Nobel laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Aung San Suu Kyi's release offers hope to the people of Burma, who face uncertain times following the elections. She is a global symbol of moral courage and we wish her strength and health as she makes her own transition from such a long period under house arrest.