Controversial Myanmar Visit ‘Not an Endorsement’ of Its Government, Obama Says
When President Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. president to visit Myanmar Monday, the Burmese public will hear him congratulate the former pariah state “on having opened the door to a country that respects human rights and respects political freedom,” he said during a press conference today. “But what they’ll also hear is that the country has a long way to go.”
Mr. Obama’s unprecedented stop through the nation - also called Burma - during his Southeast Asia trip has angered some human rights activists who believe the country should prove it has truly moved on from its years of brutal military rule before a sitting president pays it a visit. But Mr. Obama argued during today’s press conference in Thailand that Myanmar’s steps toward democratization deserve acknowledgement.
Obama: Myanmar visit “not an endorsement of the Burmese government”
The visit “is not an endorsement of the Burmese government,” the president pointed out, but “an acknowledgement that there’s a process underway inside that country that even a year and a half, two years ago, nobody foresaw.”