PHNOM PENH - US President Barack Obama will visit Burma, Cambodia and Thailand this month, during a swing through the region ahead of a major summit to be hosted by Cambodia, US officials announced Thursday.
The trip is part of a diplomatic pivot towards Asia. The president is expected to discuss a “broad range of issues” with leaders from the three countries, according to a White House announcement.
The visit to Burma will include talks with Burmese President Thein Sein, as well as with Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
“During his interactions in the region he will discuss a broad range of issues, including economic prosperity and job creation through increased trade and partnerships, energy and security cooperation, human rights, shared values, and other issues of regional and global concern,” Carney said. Obama will also meet with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The US president will arrive in Cambodia on Nov. 18, where he will attend the East Asia Summit and annual Asean meetings, chaired by Cambodia.
Cambodia, which receives much aid from China, as well as the US, “seems to be trying to strike a balance” between the two, said Lao Mong Hay, an independent analyst. Burma, he said, has made democratic reforms, likely to distance itself from “Chinese power,” he said. Thailand has a “solid military relationship” with the US that it will seek to renew, he added.
Obama was re-elected in the US on Tuesday, after which Prime Minister Hun Sen sent a message of congratulations, stressing improved relations between the two.