Myanmar President Thein Sein last visited the United Nations three years ago as the face of an authoritarian military regime. Today, the former general-turned reformer will present Myanmar in a new light.
Myanmar President Thein Sein saluted top dissident Aung San Suu Kyi in a speech to the United Nations that dwelled on the difficulties facing his nation as it is “ushering in a new era” of democratic rule.
Southeast Asian foreign ministers said they were concerned about a rise in territorial tensions in the South China Sea, calling on all parties including China to show “self-restraint” after Chinese and Vietnamese ships collided near disputed islands.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Asian countries, and Myanmar in particular, to embrace human rights and political openness as crucial components in attracting investment and driving economic growth.
Myanmar President Thein Sein will probably step aside when his term ends following elections in 2015, an aide said, adding uncertainty to the political outlook after he oversaw the nation’s most inclusive vote in more than two decades.
Barack Obama hailed Myanmar’s shift to democracy and urged more steps to increase freedom after a meeting with democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, during the first visit to the former military-ruled country by a U.S. president.