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Thursday, November 8, 2012
International

Obama to visit Myanmar this month

Newly re-elected US President Barack Obama will visit Yangon later this month, a Myanmar government official said yesterday, in the latest sign of Washington's support for reforms in the former pariah state.

"Obama will come to Yangon on November 19. He will meet with the President and Daw (honoric) Aung San Suu Kyi here," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding further details were unavailable because of security concerns.

Relations between the US and Myanmar have thawed significantly since President Thein Sein took the helm of a quasi-civilian regime last year and ushered in a period of sweeping reform.

Fresh from his re-election triumph, Obama has a small window for foreign travel before Thanksgiving on November 22 and deliberations in Congress about averting a destructive budgetary arrangement known as the "fiscal cliff".

The White House has not confirmed any trip to Myanmar.

Obama is also expected to travel to Phnom Penh to attend the East Asia summit, an annual gathering of leaders of Southeast Asian nations and regional partners including China and Russia. The summit ends on November 20.

The Obama administration has encouraged the political developments in Myanmar under the new regime that replaced half a century of military rule.

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