Obama, on Asia trip, first pays visit to Thailand
President Obama on Sunday launched a three-day Southeast Asia tour, hailing alliances with countries such as Thailand as cornerstones of the administration’s deeper commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.
While in Asia, however, Obama will be dividing his attention by monitoring the escalating conflict between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Obama has been in regular contact with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as with Egyptian and Turkish leaders who might hold sway with the Hamas leadership.
Obama landed in Bangkok Sunday afternoon, greeted by 40 saluting military guards who flanked both sides of a red carpet.
His schedule is packed with sightseeing, a royal audience with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a private meeting with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, a joint press conference and an official dinner.