Red Cross president in first visit to Myanmar
The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross has arrived in Myanmar to meet President Thein Sein and other officials, the first visit to the nation by an ICRC president.
"Myanmar's government has signalled its readiness to discuss a number of humanitarian issues with us," Peter Maurer said.
"This is a significant step forward in our dialogue and in strengthening our relationship with the Myanmar authorities."
Myanmar has seen a string of reforms in recent months.
Maurer said that over the past year there had been "positive developments on various issues where the ICRC's expertise could benefit the people of Myanmar".
Maurer, who arrived in the country on Sunday, plans to visit the western state of Rakhine, where the ICRC is carrying out aid work among people affected by the communal violence that has displaced thousands of Muslim Rohingya.
His meeting with government officials will take place in the capital, Naypyidaw. Talks are expected to focus on the recent announcement by the government that it will allow ICRC staff to visit detention facilities.
Together with the Myanmar Red Cross Society, the ICRC has provided aid to wounded and displaced people since just after an outbreak of violence in Rakhine state.
The communal unrest in the state has clouded optimism over sweeping political changes since Myanmar's widely praised emergence from decades of army rule in early 2011.
The ICRC said it was also ready to provide aid to people in states such as Kachin and Kayin, also affected by conflict.