Barack Obama to make groundbreaking visit to Burma

 

President Barack Obama will make a groundbreaking visit later this month to Burma, an official said today, following through with his policy of rapprochement to encourage democracy in the Southeast Asian nation.

The official speaking from the capital Naypyitaw said today that security for a visit on November 18 or 19 has been prepared but the schedule is not final. He asked not to be named because he is not authorised to give information to the press.

The official said Obama would meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as well as government officials such as reformist President Thein Sein.

It would be the first-ever visit to Myanmar by an American president. US officials have not yet announced any plans for a visit, which would come less than two weeks after Obama's election to a second term.

Obama's administration has sought to encourage the recent democratic progress under Thein Sein by easing sanctions applied against its previous military regime.

Officials in nearby Thailand and Cambodia have already announced plans for visits by Obama that same week. Cambodia is hosting a summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and Thailand is a long-time close U.S. ally.

AP

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