Obama to host Myanmar president at White House

Washington, May 16 (IANS) US President Barack Obama will meet his Myanmarese counterpart Thein Sein here May 20 and discuss democracy building in the Southeast Asian nation, the White House said.

“The president (Obama) looks forward to discussing with President Thein Sein the many remaining challenges to efforts to develop democracy, address communal and ethnic tensions, and bring economic opportunity to the people of his country, and to exploring how the United States can help,” Xinhua quoted White House spokesman Jay Carney as saying in a statement.

Thein Sein’s visit to the US as president will be the first for a Myanmarese leader following the country’s military leader Ne Win’s visit to Washington in 1966 at the invitation of then US president Lyndon Johnson.

Obama visited Myanmar in November 2012, while Thein Sein visited New York where he addressed the UN General Assembly in September.

Washington has, among others, restored diplomatic relations with Myanmar, eased a visa ban and ended sanctions on investment in the country in response to the advances made in the country’s reform efforts initiated by Thein Sein after he took office in March 2011.

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