BANGKOK Nov 18 U.S. President Barack Obama said
on Sunday that his upcoming trip to Myanmar was not an
endorsement of the government, but rather an acknowledgement of
the progress it has made in moving towards democracy after
decades of military rule.
"We understand it's a work in progress," he told a news
conference in Thailand.
But he added: "I'm not somebody who thinks that the United
States should stand on the sidelines and not want to get its
hands dirty when there's an opportunity for us to encourage the
better impulses inside a country."
Obama will on Monday become the first serving U.S. president
to visit the country, also known as Burma.
Some human rights groups say the visit is premature because
reforms have yet to be consolidated, but the White House has
said Obama would press Myanmar's reformist president, Thein
Sein, both in public and in private to do more about ethnic
violence and human rights abuses.