Obama to visit Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia
U.S. President Barack Obama will kick off a four-day Asian tour starting Nov. 17 that will take him to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia, the White House said on Thursday.
His travel to Rangoon marks the first visit to Myanmar ever by a sitting U.S. president, as bilateral relations have been warming up following eased U.S. sanctions in response to the undergoing reforms in the Southeast Asian nation.
During his stay, Obama will encourage the "ongoing democratic transition" in Myanmar in his meetings with President U Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, both of whom visited the United States in September, White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
While in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, Obama will meet with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to mark 180 years of diplomatic relations and "reaffirm the strength of our alliance," Carney said.
The president will attend the East Asia Summit and meet with the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations during his stay in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.
"During his interactions in the region he will discuss a broad range of issues including economic prosperity and job creation through increased trade and partnerships, energy and security cooperation, human rights, shared values and other issues of regional and global concern," Carney said.
The Asian tour is Obama's first trip abroad since he won reelection in Tuesday's presidential election.