Obama opens landmark visit to Myanmar
YANGON, Myanmar – Launching a landmark visit to long shunned Myanmar, President Barack Obama said he comes to “extend the hand of friendship” to a nation moving from persecution to peace. But the praise and personal attention come with an admonition from Obama: The work of ensuring and protecting freedoms has just begun.
Obama touched down this morning, becoming the first U.S. president to visit this Asian nation, which is also known as Burma. He will meet with the nation’s prime minister and democracy advocates, and close with a speech at the University of Yangon, where he will praise the country’s progress toward democracy but urge further reforms.
“Instead of being repressed, the right of people to assemble together must now be fully respected,” the president said in speech excerpts released by the White House. “Instead of being stifled, the veil of media censorship must continue to be lifted. As you take these steps, you can draw on your progress.”
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