WASHINGTON — The Philippine foreign secretary says Myanmar should free opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as a sign that the military-ruled country is serious about holding credible elections this year.

Alberto Romulo told an audience at a Washington think tank Friday that Myanmar should also allow Suu Kyi and her political party to participate in the elections.

Those as-yet unscheduled general elections would be the first since Suu Kyi's party won in 1990. Those results were never honored by the military.

Romulo says that the countries pressing Myanmar for more democracy must be patient. He is praising the new U.S. push to talk with the junta. He also points out that many of Myanmar's neighbors have growing business interests with the country, also known as Burma. (AP)