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White House To Host Burmese President In Historic Visit

  • RFE/RL

Burmese President Thein Sein (right) meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Yangon last year.

Burmese President Thein Sein (right) meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Yangon last year.

The White House has confirmed it will host Burma's president next week in the first such visit by a head of state from the Southeast Asian state in nearly 50 years.

The White House said President Thein Sein’s May 20 visit "underscores President Barack Obama’s commitment to supporting and assisting those governments that make the important decision to embrace reform."

Discussions are expected on democratic and economic development and ethnic tensions in Burma (also known as Myanmar).

Washington has pushed for change in the country after five decades of repressive military rule that ended with Sein's election in 2011.

It has gradually lifted sanctions against Burma as the country freed political prisoners and changed laws to open the political field for Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy movement.

With reporting by AP
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