YANGON, Burma- Newly re-elected US President Barack Obama is to visit Yangon later this month, a Myanmar government official said Wednesday, November 7, in the latest sign of Washington's support for reforms in the former pariah state.
"Obama will come to Yangon on November 19. He will meet with the President and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi here," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding further details were unavailable because of security concerns.
"Daw" is a term of respect in Myanmar.
Fresh from his re-election triumph, Obama has a small window for foreign travel before Thanksgiving on November 22 and deliberations in Congress about averting a destructive budgetary arrangement known as the "fiscal cliff."
The White House has not confirmed any trip to Myanmar.
Relations between the US and Myanmar have thawed significantly since President Thein Sein took the helm of a quasi-civilian regime last year and ushered in a period of sweeping reform.
The regime has released hundreds of political prisoners, welcomed Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party back into mainstream politics and inked a series of ceasefire deals with ethnic minority rebels.
Thein Sein made a landmark trip to New York in September, becoming the first Myanmar leader to speak to the UN General Assembly, following a series of visits to Myanmar by US officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In response the United States and other Western countries have rolled back sanctions, despite concerns about an ethnic conflict raging in northern Kachin state and a surge in communal violence in western Rakhine. - Agence France-Presse