Obama extending 'hand of friendship' to Myanmar

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In this picture taken on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, student leaders of a successive uprising, from left, Zaw Zaw Min, Hla Shwe, and Ragu Ne Myint walk

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U.S. President Barack Obama, center, and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra acknowledge each other at a joint news conference at the Government

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U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra hold a joint press conference at the Government House in Bangkok, Thai

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U.S. President Barack Obama, right on red carpet, and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, left on red carpet, attend the arrival ceremony at Tha

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U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra toast during an official dinner at Government House in Bangkok, Thaila

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U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrive for a joint press conference at the Government House in Bangkok

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in this photo provided by Thailand's Royal Household Bureau, U.S. President Barack Obama, left, talks with Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Siriraj Ho

President Barack Obama says he is making his historic visit to Myanmar to "extend the hand of friendship" to a nation that is moving from persecution to peace. But he says the country's democratic transition has just begun and must not be allowed to slide.
Obama was on his way from Thailand to Myanmar, also known as Burma, on Monday morning local time. The White House released excerpts of a speech he was giving later in the day to university students.
Obama is the first U.S. president to visit the country.
He says that in the last year and a half, Myanmar has loosened the grip of dictatorship, freed hundreds of political prisoners and ushered in a civilian government. Obama said such "flickers of progress" must not be extinguished.