Nov. 19 - U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discuss democratic reform and human rights on historic visit to Myanmar. Jessica Gray reports.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton visit some of Myanmar's holiest sites on a whirlwind landmark tour of the country. The U.S. president and secretary of state also met up with Myanmar's top officials, including opposition leader and democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi as well as President Thein Sein. President Obama said the 6 hour visit, the first by a U.S. leader in decades, is about acknowledging Myanmar's progress toward democracy after long years under military rule. But Obama was also firm that human rights abuses and a recent surge in ethnic violence were also on the agenda. Burmese citizens in Yangon were excited about the visit by Obama and Clinton. (SOUNDBITE) (Burmese) YANGON RESIDENT KYAW SOE AUNG SAYING: "I really hope that Obama will help build the transition to democracy. We have many ethnic groups in Myanmar, and they are also hoping that Obama will help them progress." The U.S. has softened sanctions and removed a ban on many imports from Myanmar, but says full normalisation of relations can only come after more conditions are met, including releasing all political prisoners.