Myanmar president set to begin first European tour
YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar's reformist leader Thein Sein is set to embark on his first visit to Europe as president on Monday, government officials said, as the country looks to deepen ties with the West while emerging from junta rule.
Mr Thein Sein is scheduled to leave Yangon on Monday evening and will fly to Norway, followed by Finland, Austria, Belgium and Italy, officials said.
"It will be his first trip to Europe," a government official told AFP, asking not to be named.
Mr Thein Sein has impressed the international community with a string of reforms since coming to power in early 2011, including welcoming long-detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi into parliament and freeing hundreds of political prisoners.