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US to resume Myanmar aid as Obama praises reforms

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US to resume Myanmar aid as Obama praises reforms


Barack Obama has made history by becoming the first serving US president to visit Myanmar.

His arrival coincided with the release of dozens of political prisoners from jails across the country.

The trip is intended to reward Myanmar for its reforms but pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi warned the struggle still continues.

“The most difficult time in any transition is when we think that success is in sight. Then we have to be very careful that we are not lured by a mirage of success, and that we are working towards a genuine success for our people and for the friendship of our two countries,” she said.

Sentiments shared by the US president: “Our goal is to sustain the momentum for democratisation. That includes building credible government institutions, establishing rule of law, ending ethnic conflicts and ensuring that the people of this country have access to greater education, healthcare and economic opportunity,” said Obama.

Thein Sein, speaking in Burmese with an interpreter
translating his remarks, responded that the two sides would move forward, “based on mutual trust, respect and understanding”. “During our discussions, we also reached agreement for the
development of democracy in Myanmar and for promotion of human rights to be aligned with international standards,” he added.

The first steps on a long journey is how Obama described talks on reforms with Myanmar President Thein Sein. Few would have thought such a meeting possible just over a year ago.

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