Obama extending 'hand of friendship' to Myanmar

Myanmar Obama Scarred University

In this picture taken on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, student

APTOPIX Thailand Obama Asia

U.S. President Barack Obama, center, and Thai Prime Ministe

Thailand Obama Asia

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and Thai Prime Minister

APTOPIX Thailand Obama Asia

U.S. President Barack Obama, right on red carpet, and Thai

Thailand US Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and Thai Prime Minister

Thailand Obama Asia

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and Thai Prime Minister

Thailand Obama Asia

in this photo provided by Thailand's Royal Household Bureau

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.