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Obama to visit Myanmar in 3-nation SE Asian tour

English.news.cn   2012-11-16 20:41:03            

YANGON, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Newly re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama will pay a working visit to Myanmar soon at the invitation of President U Thein Sein, an announcement of the President's Office said Friday without specifying the date of the visit.

Obama, who is reported by U.S. media to kick off a four-day Southeast Asian tour to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia starting Saturday, is scheduled to arrive in Yangon on Nov. 19, flying from Thailand for hours' historic visit to Myanmar before proceeding to the 21st East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia.

Obama's Myanmar trip will be the first ever to the country in the history by a sitting U.S. president as bilateral relations have been warming up following eased U.S. sanctions in response to fledgling reforms in the Southeast Asian nation.

Obama's visit also comes more than one and half year after the new government took office in March, 2011.

Obama is scheduled to meet his Myanmar counterpart U Thein Sein and opposition leader and parliamentarian Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon to encourage the country's democratic reform, according to diplomatic sources.

Obama's tight schedule includes a public speech to Myanmar people arranged at the venue of Yangon University, also known as University of Rangoon historically, according to local media.

U Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi's successive historic visits to the United States in September and October have opened a new chapter to bilateral ties between the two countries since re- establishment of diplomatic ties at the ambassadorial level on July 11 with Derek Mitchell, U.S. special representative and policy coordinator for Myanmar, being assigned as the first U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar.

The highest-ranking U.S. leader who has visited Myanmar in the history of Myanmar-U.S. relations, was then Vice President Richard Nixon in 1953.

Editor: Wang Yuanyuan
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