Obama to visit Myanmar: White House confirms Asia trip details (+video)
President Obama, newly re-elected, will visit Southeast Asia this month. His itinerary will include stops in Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. His visit to Myanmar will be viewed as an endorsement of that country's recent transformation.
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The United States eased sanctions on Myanmar this year in recognition of the political and economic changes under way, and many U.S. companies are looking at starting operations in the country, located between China and India, with abundant resources and low-cost labour.Skip to next paragraph
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In November 2011, Hillary Clinton became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Myanmar in more than 50 years.
Myanmar grew close to China during decades of isolation, reinforced by Western sanctions over its poor human rights record, but it is now seeking to expand relations with the West.
Obama met Suu Kyi during her visit to the United States in September. Thein Sein was also in the United States around the same time to attend the opening of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, but the two leaders did not meet.
Suu Kyi, who spent years in detention under the military as the symbol of the pro-democracy movement and was elected to parliament in April, will be in India just before Obama's visit to Myanmar.
Obama will also be in Southeast Asia to attend meetings in Cambodia centered around an annual summit of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which is usually extended to take in leaders of partner countries.
Preliminary details for this year show the event will run from Nov. 15 to Nov. 20 and the Cambodian government has said Obama will be in the capital, Phnom Penh, on Nov. 18. The U.S. administration has not confirmed that date.
Obama will also visit Thailand while he is in Asia, the White House said.