Myanmar leader starts landmark US visit
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Myanmar President Thein Sein began Saturday the first visit to Washington by a leader of his country in nearly 50 years as the United States throws its support behind his reforms.
The former general, who initiated a wave of reforms after taking office in 2011, flew into Washington and was holding a weekend of private meetings before talks at the White House on Monday, people involved in the trip said.
The last time a leader of Myanmar, then known as Burma, visited the White House was in 1966, as the country was entering decades of military rule that estranged it from the United States and made China the country's main partner.
US President Barack Obama visited Myanmar in November and has suspended most major sanctions against the country in hopes of showing benefits to reforms. Thein Sein will meet Monday with US businesses, now free to invest in Myanmar.