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.