US president Barack Obama will be visiting Burma this month, after being freshly re-elected. Obama will be meeting President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The president’s visit is a part of his three-legged tour from 17 to 20 November, wherein he will also be visiting Thailand and Cambodia.
The government of Myanmar has started implementing economic, political and other reforms, which is a process the Obama administration had encouraged. Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, was the last most senior US official to go to Burma, when she visited the country in the month of December, 2011.
Obama’s visit to Burma is part of a trip which is built around the summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations in Cambodia, which will also be attended by leaders from China, Japan and Russia. White House spokesman Jay Carney said that Obama has intended to ‘speak to civil society, to encourage Burma’s ongoing democratic transition’.
David Bamford from the BBC said that the trip is the president’s first foreign initiative since his re-election this week. The trip will reflect the importance that the US has given to the country, so as to normalize its relations. The correspondents have revealed that the process has moved forward relatively swiftly and it also represents an opportunity for the US to have a greater stake in the region.