19 November 2012 12:23 | By MSN Thailand
PHOTOS: Obama's official visit to Thailand

US President Barack Obama arrived in Bangkok on Sunday to kick start a three-nation tour of Southeast Asia

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President Barack Obama arrives in Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday (November 18,2012) for his first overseas trip since re-election.

This Asian tour aims to intensify the US foreign policy pivot towards the fast-rising region which includes a landmark visit to Myanmar, in a bid to encourage political reform.

Obama, who has dubbed himself America's first "Pacific president", will then journey to Cambodia for the East Asia Summit, taking place amid renewed disquiet in the region over the geopolitical consequences of China's rise amid a flurry of territorial disputes.

Obama's first stop in Thailand is meant to signal that Washington is committed to a strong set of alliances in a region preoccupied by the geopolitical implications of a rising China.

"Thailand is actually the oldest treaty ally of the United States, an ally since 1954 and a key partner in Southeast Asia."

With Yingluck, the PM of Thailand, with whom he will also have a press conference, Obama plans to discuss US cooperation with Thailand, counter-narcotics issues, terrorism and trade. He will also inaugurate a programme to connect US and Thai universities.

Click on to see pictures of Obama in Bangkok kicking start the Asian tour.


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