Obama tells Myanmar US will be friends with any nation that respects the rights of its people

Jim Kuhnhenn, The Associated Press
November 19, 2012

YANGON, Myanmar - President Barack Obama is encouraging Myanmar to continue its transition to democracy, pledging that the U.S. will be friends with any nation that respects its people's rights and international law.

Obama says Myanmar, whose repressive military rule led to its shunning by the world, can now show the world the "power of a new beginning" by continuing to open up and contributing to a world that is more peaceful, more prosperous, more just and more free.

It's the steps that the country, also known as Burma, already has taken that led to Monday's historic visit by Obama. He is the first sitting U.S. president to visit Myanmar.

In a speech at the University of Yangon, Obama acknowledged the country's shortcomings but said: "The United States of America is with you."