Yangon, Nov 08 (bdnews24.com/Reuters)- US President Barack Obama plans to visit Myanmar on November 19 and meet both his counterpart, Thein Sein, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, a senior government source in the Southeast Asian country said on Thursday.
visit would be further strong endorsement by the international
community of Myanmar's transformation under the quasi-civilian
government of Thein Sein, who took office in March 2011 to end half a
century of military rule.
Obama would be the first serving US president to visit Myanmar, also known as Burma.
far as I understand, President Obama is coming to Myanmar on November
19 and he will meet both President U Thein Sein and Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi, of course on separate occasions," the government official told
Reuters, using honorifics and asking not to be identified as he is not
authorized to speak to the media.
Neither the government nor the US embassy would confirm the date.
United States suspended sanctions on Myanmar this year in recognition
of the political and economic changes under way, and many US companies
are looking at starting operations in the country, located between
China and India, with abundant resources and low-cost labor.
In November 2011, Hillary Clinton became the first US secretary of state to visit in more than 50 years.
has sought to consolidate ties and reinforce its influence across Asia
in what US officials have described as a policy "pivot" toward the
region as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down.
grew close to China during decades of isolation, reinforced by Western
sanctions over its poor human rights record, but is now seeking to
expand relations with the West.
met Suu Kyi during her visit to the United States in September.
President Thein Sein was also there in September for the General
Assembly of the United Nations but the two men did not meet.
Kyi, who spent years in detention under the military as the figurehead
of the pro-democracy movement and was elected to parliament in April,
will be in India just before the mooted date for Obama's visit to
"She is leaving for India on a week-long visit on
November 12 but I am not sure when exactly she will be back," Nyan Win,
an official of her National League for Democracy party, told Reuters.
is coming to 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
Preliminary details for this year show
the event will run from November 15 to November 20 and the Cambodian
government has said Obama will be in the capital, Phnom Penh, on
November 18. The US administration has not confirmed that.
The heads of government of China, Japan, Russia and other countries are also expected in Cambodia for the meetings.
media has said Obama may also visit Thailand, like Myanmar an ASEAN
member, while he is in Asia, but that could not be confirmed.