Obama lands in Thailand to kick off Asian tour
BANGKOK (AP) - President Barack Obama on Sunday launched a three-day South-east 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, Mr Obama will be dividing his attention by monitoring the escalating conflict between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Mr 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.
Mr Obama landed in Bangkok on Sunday afternoon, his schedule packed with cultural sightseeing, a royal audience with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a private meeting with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, a joint press conference and an official dinner.
He will also visit Myanmar and Cambodia in his first trip abroad since winning a second term.