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President Obama to visit Myanmar

  • Fresh from his election victory, Barack Obama will this month become the first U.S. president to visit Myanmar, the White House announced on Thursday.

    Obama will meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein.

    The visit is part of a three-leg tour from November 17 to 20 that will also take Obama to Thailand and Cambodia.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was previously the most senior U.S. official to go to Myanmar when she visited in December 2011.

    In a statement, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama intended to "speak to civil society to encourage Burma's ongoing democratic transition".

    In recent months, the U.S. has appointed an ambassador to Myanmar as well as suspended sanctions to reward the country for the release of political prisoners and the election of Nobel laureate Suu Kyi to parliament.

    The U.S. is also set to ease its import ban on goods from Myanmar.