Obama to balance praise, pressure in historic Myanmar visit

By REUTERS
November 18, 2012 20:48

 
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BANGKOK - Poised to become the first US head of state to travel to Myanmar, President Barack Obama on Monday will attempt to strike a balance between praising the government's progress in shaking off military rule and pressing it for further reforms.

Obama will meet President Thein Sein, a former junta member who has spearheaded reforms since taking office in March 2011, and famed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who led the struggle against military rule and, like Obama, is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She is now a lawmaker.

Obama's trek to Myanmar is meant to highlight what the White House has touted as a major foreign policy achievement - its success in pushing the country's generals to enact changes that have unfolded with surprising speed over the past year.

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