Myanmar's president and its powerful military chief will hold an unprecedented meeting today to address cracks widening in the fledgling democracy ahead of an election next year. The talks will see opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi meet Senior General Min Aung Hlaing for the first time - dialogue the Nobel laureate has sought since she became a lawmaker in 2012. Today's hastily arranged get-together in the capital, Naypyidaw, comes as a complex peace process with armed ethnic rebels teeters on the brink of collapse. Tensions also linger over moves by Suu Kyi's party - backed by five million petitioners - to amend the constitution and reduce the political clout of the military, which ruled Myanmar brutally for 49 years. The meeting takes place as US President Barack Obama prepares to visit Myanmar next month for a regional summit amid growing US concerns about human rights abuses. These include the jailing of journalists and alleged oppression of stateless Rohingya Muslims and ethnic minorities caught in conflict with government troops. President Thein Sein, a former junta general, has been praised for widespread reforms since taking power in 2011 and convincing the West to suspend most sanctions, but critics say those changes are now starting to unravel. "The government seems to intend to use this meeting [to create] a good impression before President Obama's visit," said political analyst Yan Myo Thein. "There's little chance of seeing tangible results." Despite massive popularity at home and abroad, since becoming a lawmaker Suu Kyi has been criticised for her reluctance to comment on contentious political issues, or speak out against the military. Asked about the talks during an interview yesterday with Radio Free Asia, Suu Kyi bluntly replied: "Where did you get this information? You should ask those who were invited." Next year's parliamentary election will be the first since 2010's, which ushered in a quasi-civilian system that ended the military's absolute control. It had ruled since a 1962 coup d'état. It will also be the first general election that Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) has contested since it won a 1990 vote that the military ignored. The party boycotted the 2010 poll and Suu Kyi was under house arrest at the time. Also attending the talks will be Shwe Mann, the influential lower house speaker and chairman of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party. A former heavyweight under army rule, he is seen widely as a reformer, but with presidential ambitions. Suu Kyi has previously asked for a "four-party summit" between herself, Thein Sein, Shwe Mann and Min Aung Hlaing. The military holds several cabinet posts and 25 per cent of legislative seats, giving it essentially a veto on any attempt to change the constitution it drafted, which needs more than 75 per cent support for amendments. The NLD is leading the push to change that, but is expected to face strong resistance.