U.S. President Barack Obama has kicked off a three country Asian tour. His first stop on the trip has been Thailand, where he was welcomed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in Bangkok.
This is his first trip abroad since winning re-election earlier this month and sends a clear message that he is serious about shifting U.S. focus eastwards. It is Obama’s second extensive visit to the region in the past year. As a child, he spent several years in Indonesia, which has led him to call himself the “Pacific President”.
His next stop will be Myanmar, also known as Burma. It is another milestone for U.S. relations with the country, which is going through a fragile transition after years of military rule. He will meet President Thein Sein and opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who led the struggle against the former regime.
The U.S. President’s tour will end in Cambodia where he will attend the East Asia summit.