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In symbolic landmark, Myanmar leader heads to White House

Update: May, 20/2013 - 13:29

WASHINGTON – Myanmar President Thein Sein on Monday becomes the first leader of his country to visit the White House in nearly half a century, in one of the most symbolic US gestures yet to support his reforms.

The former general will meet with President Barack Obama and later seek to woo US businesses that see a lucrative market in the nation.

Speaking at the office of Voice of America, Thein Sein said he would tell Obama that the reform path is stable and call for a complete end to the economic sanctions which the United States has mostly suspended.

"Relations have greatly improved thanks to the policies of President Obama," he told a forum at the broadcaster on Sunday. "For our political reforms, we also need more economic development."

Obama has made Myanmar a key priority and visited in November. In recent weeks, the United States ended sweeping restrictions on visas and top trade official Demetrios Marantis visited Myanmar to start discussions on economic measures such as offering duty-free access for certain products.--AFP

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