Speed Reads

You say Burma, they say Myanmar

Obama embraces Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi


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But at a warm and cordial press conference with Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday, President Obama also effectively embraced the popular opposition leader's right to run for president. Obama said the law that bars Suu Kyi from running "doesn't make much sense," implicitly urging Myanmar's authoritarian government to scrap the provision. Using the country's old name, Burma, Obama said "important changes have been made" since the government instituted democratizing reforms two years ago, but that more needs to be done, especially before next year's national elections.

Suu Kyi agreed that "our reform process is going through a bumpy patch," adding that "when Burma becomes a fully functioning democracy in accordance with the will of the people, we will be able to say that among those friends who enabled us to get there, the United States was among the first." She said she hopes her party wins next years, ribbing Obama a bit — "of course, any party wants to win the election, I'm sure the president will tell you that" — but said she'd "rather lose than win in the wrong way." --Peter Weber