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Obama touches down in Myanmar, opens historic visit

Published on Nov 19, 2012 1:16 PM
US President Barack Obama (R) waves as he is accompanied by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C-L) on arrival at the Yangon International airport on November 19, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

YANGON (AFP) - Huge crowds greeted Mr Barack Obama in Myanmar on Monday morning on the first visit by a serving United States president to the former pariah state to encourage a string of startling political reforms.

In scenes that would have been unthinkable until recently, Mr Obama's motorcade passed tens of thousands of people lining the road from Yangon's airport into the heart of the ramshackle city, after a red-carpet welcome for Air Force One.

Waving US and Myanmar flags, some chanted "America". One poster read "Legend, hero of our world".

Mr Obama met with the country's reformist President Thein Sein at the city's regional parliament building, hoping to embolden the former general to deepen the country's march out of decades of iron-fisted military rule.

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