Obama Heads to Thailand to Kick off Asian Tour


Radio Netherlands Worldwide
November 18, 2012

President Barack Obama arrives in Asia on Sunday to intensify a US foreign policy pivot towards the fast-rising region on his first overseas trip since re-election, including a landmark visit to Myanmar.

He will be the first sitting US president to set foot in the long-time pariah, reflecting a dramatic thaw in relations brought about by sweeping political changes under a new reformist government.

Obama, who has dubbed himself America’s first “Pacific president”, will first touch down in Thailand, then make a one-day stop in Myanmar on Monday, before joining regional leaders in Cambodia for the East Asia Summit.

[...] Some human rights groups said that Obama should have waited longer to visit, arguing that he could have dangled the prospect of a trip as leverage to seek more progress such as the release of scores of remaining political prisoners.

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