Obama in Cambodia after rousing Myanmar welcome
PHNOM PENH (AP) - Making history twice within hours, President Barack Obama on Monday became the first US president to set foot in Cambodia, a country once known for its Khmer Rouge "killing fields." He left behind flag-waving crowds on the streets of Myanmar, the once internationally shunned nation now showing democratic promise.
Unlike the visit to Myanmar, where Mr Obama seemed to revel in that nation's new hope, the White House made clear that Mr Obama is only in Cambodia to attend an East Asia Summit (EAS) and said the visit should not be seen as an endorsement of Prime Minister Hun Sen and his government.
Indeed, Mr Obama's arrival in Cambodia lacked the euphoria of his greeting in Myanmar, where tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Yangon to cheer the first American president to visit a country that until recently had long been isolated from the West. "You gave us hope," Mr Obama declared in Yangon.
In Phnom Penh, small clusters of Cambodians gathered in the streets to watch the motorcade pass by, without any of the outpouring that greeted Mr Obama in Myanmar.