Obama opens landmark visit to Myanmar

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Associated Press

Posted on November 18, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 19 at 1:04 AM

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — President Barack Obama is opening his historic trip to Myanmar, becoming the first U.S. leader to visit the once-pariah nation.

Air Force One touched down in Yangon Monday morning. The president will meet with Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein and the country's revered democracy advocate, Aung San Suu Kyi (ahng sahn soo chee).

Obama will close his visit to Myanmar with a speech at Rangoon University, where he will praise the country's progress toward democracy but urge further reforms.

Obama has led efforts to reestablish ties with Myanmar following its move toward democracy following a half-century of military rule.

Some human rights groups, however, have criticized Obama's visit as a premature reward for a country that still holds political prisoners and is struggling to stem ethnic violence.

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