International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has spoken of the "immense honour" of meeting Burmese pro-democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi.
Mr Mitchell held talks with the opposition politician a year after she was released from house arrest under which she had spent 15 of the previous 21 years.
The pair visited a school in the Burmese capital Rangoon on the final day of Mr Mitchell's visit to the country, where he has met government leaders and witnessed work funded by British aid money.
He said Ms Suu Kyi "represented the hopes and dreams of Burma's people".
Mr Mitchell added: "Aung San Suu Kyi is an inspiration and a personal hero to many across the world. It is an immense honour to have met her.
"Her commitment to bringing real democracy and national reconciliation to Burma is a beacon of hope for the future."
He said he had witnessed "real signs of progress" during his four-day trip, but added: "We need urgent further progress."