Obama meets China's president

Barack Obama has met China's outgoing president during a meeting at a summit of Asian countries taking place in Cambodia. He become the first sitting US President to visit Cambodia and Burma on his historic tour of Asia.

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Obama to 'extend the hand of friendship' to Burma

Barack Obama will become the first US President to visit Burma when he arrives in the country later today.

Barack Obama speaking in Thailand. Credit: REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

Obama will say he is making the historic visit to "extend the hand of friendship" to a nation that is moving from persecution to peace, according to excerpts of his speech released by the White House.

In a speech to university students, the President will warn that the country's democratic transition has just begun and must not be allowed to slide.

Obama is on a tour of Asia and recently visited Thailand.


Obama urged to 'prioritise Burma discussions'

Five female Nobel Peace Laureates sent an open letter to President Barack Obama and Burma's President Thein Sein ahead of Obama's historic visit to the country, urging them to end to the "escalating and systematic violence" there.

A police officer stands near a graffiti artwork welcoming President Barack Obama in Burma Credit: Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun

Jody Williams, Leymah Gbowee, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchu Tum and Shirin Ebadi wrote, "This letter is an urgent call to prioritise in your discussions an end to the violence ... and the protection of and the delivery of aid to vulnerable populations".

The women, all members of the Nobel Women's Initiative, told the President's, "We cannot support the rationale of using violence to end violence. We hold the belief that violence that will not alleviate the suffering of Myanmar's [Burma's] people".

They have called for affected areas to have full access to humanitarian aid and the creation of a reconciliation process led by local community leaders.

Obama: 'Burma visit not an endorsement'

US President Barack Obama and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at a welcoming ceremony at the Government House in Bangkok. Credit: REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

As President Barack Obama arrived in Thailand he was asked whether his visit to Burma tomorrow was premature, given the country's record on human rights.

He said: "This is not an endorsement of the Burmese government. This is an acknowledgement that there is a process under way inside that country that even two years ago nobody foresaw."


In Pictures: Obama visits Wat Pho Royal Monastery

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a short visit to Wat Pho Royal Monastery in Bangkok today as he began his three-day tour of Southeast Asia.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visit Wat Pho Royal Monastery in Bangkok Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

Obama and Clinton joked with a monk at the temple as they visited its famous Reclining Buddha statue.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton stand with a monk at the base of the Reclining Buddha Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

This marks the President's first trip abroad since his re-election.

A Thai policeman salutes as President Obama and Hillary Clinton pass by Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

After Thailand, Obama will embark on a historic trip to Burma - known by the regime as Myanmar - as the first sitting US President to visit.

Obama arrives in Bangkok on Southeast Asia tour

US President Barack Obama arrives at Don Muang international airport in Bangkok Credit: Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom

US President Barack Obama has arrived in Bangkok, marking the beginning of a three-day tour of Southeast Asia.

While visiting Thailand, Obama will have a royal audience with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a private meeting with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, a joint press conference and an official dinner.

The President will also visit Burma - referred to by the regime as Myanmar - and Cambodia in his first trip abroad since winning a second term.

US wants 'Burma to break military ties with North Korea'

Obama will have a "dialogue with the Burmese government about the need to reduce their relationship with North Korea," Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, told reporters.

The Obama administration still refers to Myanmar by its older name, Burma.

We see that as an issue where they've been moving in a positive direction. We'd like reinforce that action and, again, see Burma break its military ties with the North Koreans.

– Ben Rhodes
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