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ELECTION 2015

Obama Commends Thein Sein for Reform, Election

US President Barack Obama commends Thein Sein for successful conduct of Burma’s historic Nov. 8 poll via phone call this morning.


RANGOON — US President Barack Obama commended President Thein Sein for successful conduct of Burma’s historic Nov. 8 poll via phone call around 8:30am on Thursday.

President’s spokesperson Ye Htut shortly thereafter shared a post on Facebook summarizing Obama’s remarks.

“The victory of the election is a historic milestone, and President Thein Sein should be proud of it. The reform process that has been bravely initiated by President Thein Sein is a unique success for the future of Burma,” Ye Htut quoted Obama as saying, adding that the United States was prepared to continue its cooperation with the Burmese government.

Obama has visited Burma twice—in 2012 and again in 2014—since Thein Sein took office and ushered in a reform process four years ago, meeting with both Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose national League for Democracy (NLD) party enjoyed a landslide victory on Sunday.

Obama is set to arrive in the Philippines next week to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, continuing on to Malaysia to join an East Asia leadership summit.

The US head of state is scheduled to return to Southeast Asia in 2016, but has not announced any plans to visit Burma during the trip.

French President François Hollande also expressed congratulations on Thursday with a phone call to Suu Kyi, according the French Embassy in Rangoon.

“He welcomed the successful conduct of the campaign and of the elections and congratulated Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi for her decisive role in the progress of democracy in Myanmar, which must be pursued,” said a statement from the mission.

Hollande also recalled that his country “was still paying close attention to the respect of the will of the people of Myanmar, to the easing of political and religious tensions and to the pursuit of national reconciliation as desired by Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi.”

“The commitments made in this regard must be respected,” he said.