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Burma To Free Prisoners Ahead Of Obama Visit

Burmese President Thein Sein
Burma says it will free 452 prisoners in a gesture of goodwill ahead of a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama that starts on November 19.

State media in Burma, also known as Myanmar, said that dissidents would be among those freed.

Burmese President Thein Sein's government has implemented democratic reforms aimed at opening the country up to the outside world.

The changes follow decades of military rule characterized by rights abuses and disregard for democratic principles.

Obama's visit is meant to encourage the current Burmese leadership to continue on that path.

Obama plans meet with Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung Sung Suu Kyi during his visit.

She was freed by the new leadership after nearly 15 years under house arrest and made a successful run for a seat in parliament.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP